Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season in the hands of Liverpool at Anfield last week. And what a better way to bounce back if not with a fixture against rivals and neighbor -Tottenham Hotspur.
Ties between Arsenal and Spurs never disappoint and you can bet your life savings on the fact that this would not be different.
Tottenham have only won two of their 27 Premier League away matches versus Arsenal, in May 1993 and November 2010.
Spurs won 2-0 at the Emirates in the League Cup last December. In all competitions, Spurs have won consecutive away matches at Arsenal just once, in 1925 and 1926.
The 18 penalties scored in this fixture isv the joint highest in Premier League history along with Everton against Newcastle United.
This is the 186th north London derby. Arsenal have won 77 times, Tottenham 58 with 50 draws.
The Gunners have won more Premier League games (60) and have a higher win rate (61%) than any other side in games played in September.
They also haven’t lost a north London derby in September since 1969, winning six and drawing four of 10 such meetings in all competitions.
Arsenal have given away eight Premier League penalties since the start of last season – only Brighton (10) have conceded more.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored just three goals in 14 league games against sides from the established top six. In matches against other clubs he has scored 31 times in 38 matches.
Arsenal have attempted 28 shots in the Premier League this season – only Crystal Palace (16) and Newcastle United (25) registered fewer in the opening three rounds.
Spurs have won only three of their last 12 matches in all competitions and seven of their last 21.
They have taken just 15 points from their last 15 league games.
They are without an away win in the league for seven matches, their worst run since December 2011 to April 2012.
Tottenham and Watford are the only two sides to have conceded first in all three of their league games so far this season. The last time Spurs did so in their first four Premier League matches of a season was in 2008-09.
Harry Kane’s record of nine goals in north London derbies is bettered only by Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith (both with 10 goals).
Christian Eriksen is one goal away from becoming the fifth player to score 50 in the Premier League for Tottenham. However, he has not scored in any of his 11 league appearances against Arsenal, his worst record against any English club.
Team News and Potential Line Up
The number of players on Arsenal’s injury list has been reducing and this would be a delight to Unai Emery. Only Bellerin, Holding, Tierney and Mavropanos are 100% certain to miss this game.
Mesut Ozil should return to the squad today but it’s still uncertain if he would feature at any point. Spurs have more worries on their part though as they have two to three first team regulars out because of injury.
I’m expecting us to line up in a 4-3-3 formation but with Emery, you never can tell.
Arsenal were pragmatic with their approach in the loss to Liverpool. They handed the initiative to the Reds and they were duly punished. Regardless of what people say, I feel the approach was wrong. That said, I expect to see a more attacking setup today.
This could be the perfect time unleash the deadly trio of PAL. With Ozil or Ceballos playing behind them, I believe this team would be too much for Spurs and majority of the teams in the league.
Guendouzi and Willock in particular have performed tremendously well in the games they’ve featured this season. I however feel the experiment with them should be suspended – that’s why I’m going for a pivot of Xhaka and Torreira in the base of the midfield.
Spurs have been a shadow of themselves recently and in all honesty, that’s what we want. The truth with derbies however is that form doesn’t matter. That said, I still expect us to have too much for them.