Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur – Match Preview – The Premier League returns with a bang this weekend as Tottenham travel to Arsenal in the North London Derby.
Arsenal come into this match four points behind their rivals and 12 behind league leaders Manchester City. With Arsenal so far adrift from the top already, it looks as if they’ll have yet another tough season of battling for a place in the Champions League. Under Arsene Wenger, there is no doubt that the club has gone stale, with new blood needed to reinvigorate this underachieving club. With the club being run as a business, as long as they’re making money, majority shareholder Stan Kroenke is reluctant to bring in a new lease of life at the helm.
Arsenal forward, Alexandre Lacazette, grabbed himself a brace in midweek as France drew 2-2 with World Champions Germany. The forward scored two goals in his last three games before the international break and this double will have only helped improve his confidence. With Wenger heavily criticised for leaving the former Lyon striker on the bench in their 3-1 defeat to Manchester City, I fully expect him to lead the line on Saturday.
Tottenham are expecting to welcome back Dele Alli and Harry Kane back from injury ahead of their trip across the capital. Both players missed England’s friendlies against Germany and Brazil but are both expected to be fit for this game. Kane has scored six goals in six Premier League appearances against Arsenal including netting in the last five consecutive meetings. With the Englishman in such fine form again this season, few would bet against him adding to that total.
Mauricio Pochettino is yet to taste defeat against Arsenal in six league meetings with the club. The last three matches at the Emirates have all finished 1-1 and this unbeaten run makes him the only full-time Spurs manager to have managed more than one North London derby in the Premier League and remain unbeaten. The Argentinian has a 33% win percentage against Arsenal, with only Harry Redknapp (37%) above him.
Arsenal haven’t won in the league against Tottenham since 2014. That stat underlines how good a job Pochettino has done in transforming this Spurs side, with both clubs seemingly heading in opposite directions. Those last six matches have yielded 15 goals, averaging at exactly 2.5 a game. Whilst Spurs have been solid at remaining unbeaten, they still haven’t won at the Emirates since 2010. With the last three Emirates meetings finishing 1-1, I could see a similar outcome again. Given the attacking power both sides have, I think BTTS would be my safest bet.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-1 Spurs