It’s that time of the year again when we have the North London Derby before us. It’s the first of the season and you won’t be wrong if you say it’s going to be a cracker – it has always been!

Spurs, though unbeaten this season are 5th on the log while Arsenal lie second, behind Manchester City only on goal difference. Both sides could only draw when they played each other last season, and the direction this edition will take is unknown.

Neither can afford to lose this game and it’s not certain if a draw will do both sides any good.

That said, we asked our writers for their predictions and they gave their responses below:

Olumuyiwa (@FOlumuyiwa_1)

The North London Derby doesn’t disappoint. We’ve had some thrilling games in the history of this fixture and I don’t think we’ve ever seen a goalless draw. We won’t see it this time as I expect a feisty encounter with both teams gcoing all out. This game will be won from the midfield, and that is why I pray Santi Cazorla is available for this game. When this fixture was played at the Emirates last season, Dele Alli and co bossed the midfield. I don’t see that happening this time. I won’t start Olivier Giroud if I happened to be the manager as we will be too direct. The unpredictability of Alexis upfront should give them much to worry about.

I think we will win this 3 – 1. Goals from Theo Walcott and Alexis should do it for us.

Sidney (@sidramatic1)

I think this will be a thrilling game. I think Wenger should stick with Alexis Sanchez at Centre Forward to press Spurs and make them uncomfortable. Hopefully, Walcott and Cazorla will recover to start the game. I don’t always feel nerved by North London Derbies probably because we seem to win most of the games. I believe with the impending return of Santi and Theo, we will win this game but it won’t be easy.

A high scoring 3 – 1 win for Arsenal.

Olatunde (@horlatunde)

North London Derby!!! Can we go back to the days of Martin Jol as Spurs Manager and Paul Robinson as their goalkeeper (LOL)? Remembering those two makes NLD a pressure free one for me.

Now to the match on Sunday, from the tactical point of view, I think the manager should stick with our line-up of Sanchez(upfront), Iwobi(wide left) and Walcott(wide right) if fit. I’ll prefer Cazorla starting so as to draw fouls from Wanyama.

Well not taking anything away from Spurs (even though i for one do not always see them as a threat), I’ll say we’ll win by 2 goals to 1.

Henrie (@henrie_10)

If for anything this is the game that would either make or break us. A win would open up a six point lead for Arsenal against their North London rival, while a win for Spurs would bring both teams levelled on point. Who stays above the other will now be determined by goal difference. Hopefully we would have a full squad that day, having Walcott, Cazorla and Monreal back. For me, Cazorla is the key to us winning. If he starts i feel we would win.

Expect a high tempo game but I would go for a 1-0 win for Arsenal.

Alli (@San_Bosscity)

Well, it’s the North London Derby again.

Arsenal are in a fantastic form at the moment and they are unbeaten since the day 1 defeat to Liverpool.That’s nine games without a defeat in which they have won seven. I hope and pray Santi is back in time for the match because he is highly needed. There is this real balance in the midfield whenever he is on the pitch. I will advise Arsene (if he is reading this) to stick with Alexis upfront supported by Theo, Iwobi and the Wizard of Oz.

Tottenham on the other hand are going through a tough time. They have gone six games in all competitions without a win. I think they lack the final bite upfront without talisman – Harry Kane. Alderweireld is another key man missing for spurs.

With Arsenal’s attacking power and the form of Tottenham at the moment, I expect the Gunners to come out victorious.

Arsenal 2-0 Spurs.

Tobi (@tbanj_)

The easiest thing to do is to be carried away with our recent results. The North London Derby is a special day itself, and, no matter your form, if you’re not there mentally you’re out from the start. Sp*rs haven’t been in the best of form, but derbies are not about form. As a matter of fact, form is thrown out of the window in derbied like this.

I’m predicting a high scoring game –  Arsenal 4 – Spurs 0. I don’t see Arsenal conceding against them. Ozil and Sanchez will be among the scorers. I hope to see Xhaka in the line up if Santi doesn’t make it.

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