Arsenal vs. Spurs, Sunday 8th November, 4pm. Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal host Spurs on Sunday afternoon in what will be the first league encounter of the season between the two rivals. The Gunners are looking to bounce back quickly following a heavy defeat away to Bayern Munich in midweek and getting one over Spurs in the North London Derby is always welcomed by the home faithful.
Spurs come into this game knowing that victory over Arsenal, will increase their chances of finishing in the top four this season.
However, they have it all to do, as the last time they beat Arsenal at the Emirates, Rafeal Van Der Vart, Gareth Bale and Kaboul were on the score sheet in a 3-2 victory back in November 2010.
Pochettino fielded a strong starting eleven in last nights Europa League win over Anderlecht. Many had expected changes to be made to the squad that beat Aston Villa on Monday in preparation for the derby, but despite that, the likes of Harry Kane, Eriksen and Lamela all featured in the 2-1 home win.
Arsene Wenger has further injury concerns with Hector Bellerin ruled out of Sunday’s fixture and Laurent Koscielny unlikely to start.
Bellerin joins an increasing number of Arsenal players on the sidelines and with the tough winter schedule to come, the strength of this Arsenal squad will be tested in the next few weeks.
The 5-1 thrashing to Bayern Munich was a record defeat for Arsenal in Europe and they face the possibility of exiting yet another competition, having already been knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Sheffield Wednesday.
Their recent form in the league, however, has been first-class. Arsenal, find themselves 2nd In the Barclays Premier League behind only to Manchester City on goal difference.
Victory over Spurs on Sunday would make it 6 out of 6 wins for Arsene Wenger’s side, in an impressive run, which has already seen wins over Manchester United, Everton and Swansea, respectively.
Tottenham go into the derby with fewer losses in the league than City, Arsenal and Manchester United, their 4-1 thumping of Manchester City back in September sent shock waves across the premier league and couldn’t have come at a better time.
Since then Spurs have gone on to climb up the table and with wins against Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Anderlecht they go into this game full of confidence.
Pochettino boasts a youthful side, the youngest average starting line-up so far in the league, In fact, at 24 years and 293 days.
Dele Alli is one of those youngsters and he has made an instant impact since making his debut away to Manchester United in August.The 19-year-old midfielder was named man of the match against Aston Villa on Monday and will be one to watch in the North London Derby.
Tottenham will be looking to Harry Kane to provide another match winning performance. The England international is back amongst the goals with 5 in his last three games for Spurs and he was the hero the last time these two sides met in the league back in February 2015.
Arsenal fans will be hoping that Mesut Ozil can continue his fine array of performances. Ozil who has come under criticism in the past and labelled, as “passenger” has been a key performer this season for the gunners with 9 assists in 11 premier league games.
Olivier Giroud poses a different threat to the Tottenham back four. The French center forward has often been criticized by Arsenal fans and dubbed not good enough to lead the attack. Despite the criticism, Giroud is Arsenals top scorer with 8 goals in all competitions.
Arsenal go into Sundays game as favorites, but Spurs will no doubt be looking to cause an upset and claim a league victory over the Gunners at the Emirates. Something they have failed to do in over 5 years.