Daily Archives: September 27, 2014
This is one fixture Arsenal fans always look forward to every season. Unlike in previous years, Tottenham has increased their spending power but they’re still under Arsenal’s shadow, a place they feel at home. Arsenal met their rivals three times last season and in all occasions, the Gunners kept a clean sheet while scoring on the other end to secure victory.
Tottenham’s record at the Emirates is quite shambolic with the Spurs being on the receiving end of two 5-2 reverse scorelines in their two of their last four away meetings with the Gunners. In the last 30 years, Tottenham has beaten Arsenal just twice at the Gunners’ home ground with their most recent victory coming in 2010, which also ended a long 68-game streak of poor results to any “top four” side away.
This would be the 12th Tottenham manager Arsene Wenger would be facing in his 18-year stint at the club but his team will have to be mindful about a familiar face, Emmanuel Adebayor, that has scored more goals than any other player in north London derby history (eight for Arsenal and two for Spurs).
Tottenham head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, made wholesale changes for Wednesday’s Capital One Cup win over Nottingham Forest and he’s expected to bring his regulars back to the fray for the trip to the Emirates Stadium. Spurs head into the game trailing Arsene Wenger’s side by two points and five places in the early table. Like Arsenal that has a vital Champions League home clash against Galatasaray, Tottenham has a Europa League home fixture against the team Arsenal had to beat to qualify for the Champions League proper, Besiktas. However, I expect both teams to be fully focused on the task ahead, which is the North London derby.
Arsenal is one of only two unbeaten teams in the Premier League after five games, but has drawn three of those, including a 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City in their previous home fixture. Even though the Gunners failed to turn up against Southampton with the mixture of youth and experienced fringe players in the Capital One Cup, I expect the regulars to return for a match of this caliber.
Wojciech Szczesny must have watch his counterpart, David Ospina, concede two goals in midweek but I’m sure he knows that he can’t rest on his laurels because Ospina wasn’t brought to just take on bench warming duties, like Bacary Sagna. He’d return in goal and would be hoping to keep back to back clean sheets for the first time this season.
In defense, Calum Chambers would continue at right back while there would be returns for Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny that were rested in midweek. Arsenal can ill-afford any more injuries at the back and we can truly hope that their injury problems are truly behind them. Matt Debuchy remains a long term absentee while Nacho Monreal is still nursing a back problem but judging from Francis Coquelin’s performance in midweek, I can rest assured that he can do a good job there should anything happen to Gibbs.
In midfield, I expect a total shuffle with the likes of Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky returning to the bench. We have learned that Arsene Wenger harbors plans of making Diaby a DM but I don’t think that he’s crazy enough to play him in the role today. Mathieu Flamini is just returning to the team following a ‘dead leg’ and there would still be concerns on his fitness, but as things stand, club captain, Mikel Arteta, would be the man to occupy that role. Aaron Ramsey is currently going through a rough patch of form and Wenger has instructed him to go back to the basics instead of trying so hard to replicate his 2011/12 form where he always wanted to overelaborate things. He can take his cue from Mesut Ozil that has been on the wrong end of some criticism but responded in the best possible manner, with a goal and an assist.
Santi Cazorla had a cameo role against Southampton in the Gunners’ bid to chase the game but I expect him to come in for the ineffectual Lukas Podolski while Alexis Sanchez would step in for Joel Campbell. Oxlade-Chamberlain recently spoke about how fired up Alexis is for today’s game and we would be hoping that he adds to his four goals he has scored already. Then there’s Deadline Day Danny that would be hoping for the goals to start flowing after he broke his deadlock against Aston Villa. Yaya Sanogo and Olivier Giroud are still out injured.
Arsenal: Matt Debuchy (ankle), Olivier Giroud (foot), Serge Gnabry, Theo Walcott (both knee), Nacho Monreal (back), Yaya Sanogo (hamstring).
Tottenham: Benoit Assou-Ekotto (suspended), Kyle Walker (hip).
- Last Five League Games: W D D D W
- Last League Result: Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 3
- Last Five League Games: W W L D L
- Last League Result: Tottenham 0 West Brom 1
Gooner Daily Prediction Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1
North London is Red.
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