The Big Game Preview
Given the fact that Tottenham Hotspur are coming into the London derby sitting first in the Premier League, they are favorites to take all three points on Sunday.
Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to strengthen their credentials as genuine challengers for the Premier League title with a victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
Jose Mourinho’s side, who at times looked lost in their midweek’s Europa League 3-3 draw with LASK, have shown no such complacency in the English top-flight, with Spurs conceding the lowest (9) and scoring the 2nd most (21) number of goals of any side in the Premier League so far this season.
Their Sunday’s guests, however, can boast of no such statistics as Arsenal’s 20/21 season has been downright underwhelming thus far. Mikel Arteta’s side have won only 1 of their last five games in the Premier League, with their only victory in that period coming at the start of last month.
However, with the Gunners fresh from their Thursday’s 4-1 victory over Rapid Wien in Europe’s 2nd-tier competition, Mourinho will surely be telling his players that Sunday’s North London derby won’t be decided before the final whistle.
The England captain missed his club’s 3-3 draw with LASK due to an unspecified injury, but his manager expects the striker to feature this weekend. His potential return would be a huge boost for Spurs given that Kane’s selflessness in front of goal has helped unleash their top-scorer Son Heung-min.
Hugo Lloris remains an injury doubt for the weekend after the Spurs’ captain missed his side’s midweek Europa League clash. Erik Lamela has been ruled out for the game due to an Achilles injury while Sergio Reguilon, Carlos Vinicius and Toby Alderweireld are being assessed.
Mikel Arteta’s side, meanwhile, will be sweating on the fitness of summer signing Thomas Partey and former Chelsea and PSG centre-back David Luiz. Partey has been out of action since suffering a thigh injury during the Gunners’ 3-0 defeat at Aston Villa and remains an injury doubt for the weekend.
Brazil international Luis suffered a painful head injury during last Sunday’s defeat at Wolves but returned to the side during the midweek. Nicolas Pepe is serving the last of his three-game suspension and Gabriel Martinelli (knee) is also out.
Given the fact that 8 points separate leaders Tottenham from 14th placed Arsenal, the home side are clearly the favorites to claim all three points on Sunday.
History is also on the side of Tottenham as they have tasted defeat in only one of their last five games against the Gunners in all competitions, winning two games in the process. And if this isn’t enough to give Spurs’ fans hope, their manager’s home record against Arsenal would surely bring a smile to their faces.
The Portuguese manager is yet to lose a home game against the Gunners in ten previous clashes in all competitions (W6 D4) – versus no side has the ex-Chelsea and Manchester United manager faced more games at home without suffering a defeat. He’ll, therefore, be looking to stretch that run to 11 games with a victory on Sunday!
Possible Tottenham starting lineup: Lloris; Aurier, Alderweireld, Dier, Reguilon; Sissoko, Hojberg; Son, Ndombele, Bergwijn; Kane
Possible Arsenal starting lineup: Leno; Holding, Gabriel, Tierney; Bellerin, Ceballos, Elneny, Saka; Willian, Lacazette, Aubameyang
Prediction: A 3-1 victory for the home side.
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