Tag Archives: North

tottenham Vs Arsenal – The NLD Preview

Kickoff – 1630 GMT

Not for quite some time have our neighbours gone into a North London Derby as such overwhelming favourites. 

It really is a good thing that form doesn’t apply in these fixtures. 

If it did, then tottenham would win handsomely and enjoy the superiority they currently enjoy in the Premiership table. Sitting in second spot and chasing Chelsea hard for the title, they have left Arsenal choking on their dust. The Gunners are sitting in sixth place and the gap of 14 points is a chasm and the biggest it has been in over two decades.

Arsene Wenger must set his team up accordingly. This may carry a whole heap of pressure, but it is also a great opportunity to win the last derby at White Hart Lane – a place which has been a happy hunting ground over the years.

Wenger will have to deal without Shkodran Mustafi again, but talismanic defender Laurent Koscielny has a “60% chance of playing” according to the Gunners boss in his last press conference. Arsenal’s hopes could well hinge on if Koscielny makes the team, but if he does, will Wenger continue with his recent experiment with 3 at the back?

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be one who hopes so, as his performances have been excellent since the new formation has been implemented. The Ox was an unused sub in our last game, but could come straight back into the team. Theo Walcott or Hector Bellerin may be the men to make way. 

 Mauricio Pochettino is sweating on the fitness of Moussa Dembele, but if the Belgian misses out, then Eric Dier may come into the defensive midfield spot. Aside from Dembele and Danny Rose, spurs have a clean bill of health.

The title race may be filling the home side’s thoughts, but they won’t want to lose the last ever derby at their ground. They have recent derby results in their favour though, as Arsenal have one win in the last eight trips to White Hart Lane – which was in 2014. There may well be goals too, as despite the poor recent record, the Gunners have scored in 35 of their last 36 derby games. 

Arsenal players and Gooners know that if tottenham win, then for the first time in over 21 years they will finish above us. We cannot allow them this luxury. There are some stats worth remembering though.

This is Wengers 50th derby, and he has lost only seven so far. spurs have the only unbeaten home record left in the league, and have already amassed their best ever points total.  We meanwhile, have lost four of our last five away games and tottenham have won their last 8 league games. 

The man to watch out for? Christian Eriksen. He has been involved in 16 goals in his last 12 games, and the Dane is playing the best football of his career so far. Harry Kane – the mouth-breathing, non-annunciating goal-getter, has a great record against us too, so our newly-shaped defence must be drilled and prepped. 

It’s a good thing form doesn’t apply…….

Predicted Lineup – Cech, Gabriel, Koscielny, Holding, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Ramsey, Monreal, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud

Predicted Scoreline – 2-1 to The Arsenal. 

Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham – Not On Our Worst Day. A Match Report

At first glance, a 1-1 draw against your bitter rivals is a satisfactory result. This was in stark contrast to the end of the game when Arsenal’s opponents, despite being in control of the majority of the game, were utilising all manner of timewasting techniques in order to salvage a point.

There again was a disparity in emotions at half time, when if any Gooners were asked if they would take a point, they would have snapped up the offer. Tottenham bossed the first forty-five minutes and there was little for any home fans to latch onto to boost optimism. I was in attendance in the Upper East Stand and the half time whistle brought with it only dismay.

Continue reading Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham – Not On Our Worst Day. A Match Report

Arsenal Vs Tottenham – North London Derby Preview

Kick-Off – 1600hrs.

It is that time again.

For rivalries to once more bubble beyond banter and surface into a more heinous incarnation. Past matches which once created scars now swell and seem more relevant than ever.

With derby matches though, form and previous matches are on the peripheral in terms of attempting to decipher who will take the spoils.

Today’s game at The Emirates ( which I will be fortunate enough to be present at for the princely sum of £95 ) sees Arsenal vying for top spot with Manchester City – only goal difference separated them before the weekends matches kicked off – and their lilywhite neighbours five points worse off, in fifth position. Even though form is a variable of which normally has no bearing, both teams can boast of enviable results thus far – The Gunners have won the last five games and Spurs haven’t lost since the opening day reverse to Manchester United.

Arsene Wenger’s men however, are fresh from a Champions League humbling at the hands of German titans Bayern Munich. The 5-1 hammering punished any mistake Arsenal made – and defensively, they made plenty. One ray of light for Gooners to latch onto from this horrid memory would be the chances they created. If not for profligacy, Arsenal could have walked away from the Allianz Arena with three or four goals. The problem is that Bayern could have had another three or four themselves.

image

Mauricio Pochettino saw his side earn a win in the Europa League which furthered their belief that this season could finally be one that sees them achieve their potential. Add to this the fact that star striker Harry Kane is now back on the goal trail and you have a potent threat to Arsenal’s twenty year run of dominance in the Premier League.

image

A factor in this game that will have some sway is injuries. Tottenham have all their game changers at their disposal, with Erik Lamela, Kane, Eriksen and centre-back combination Alderweireld and Vertonghen fit and raring to go. Defensive midfielder Eric Dier has been called up to the latest England squad and will be brimming with confidence, but perhaps his biggest test is if he can quell what amounts to an evolving threat.

Mesut Ozil is showing spectators what made Cristiano Ronaldo so melancholy at his departure from the Bernabeu. Recent games has seen him top most stat tables in terms of miles covered, chances created and of course, assists. If Ozil is the flint which creates the spark, then Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud are the explosive gunpowder. Giroud in particular is enjoying a fruitful patch and of his six league goals, three have been laid on a platter by Mesut Ozil.

image

It isn’t all rosy though, and Arsene Wenger is fully aware. He commented on Arsenal’s sick list in the run up to this fixture and is without Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey. A vital cog in the shape of Laurent Koscielny is expected to shrug off a hip complaint which saw him avoid the horrors of Munich and Gooners everywhere will be breathing a huge sigh of relief that the talismanic Frenchman is back alongside Per Mertesacker.

Tottenham have many incentives to win, but their dire record at the home of Arsenal must be chief among them. Only one win since 1993 is a sure sign that a mental block exists, and Pochettino will be well aware that the open and vulnerable Arsenal that was swept aside on Wednesday will not be the same side which line up today at 4pm.

The Gunners have scored thirty nine times in the last sixteen home games versus their North London nemesis. They have scored sixteen goals and conceded only three in their last five games. Arsene Wenger is the longest serving manager in the Premier League and if anyone is aware of the importance of this game and the necessity for Gooners to send the spurs fans home without cheer, it is the suave Arsenal boss.

image

So, once again, both teams lock horns and both sets of fans will expect glory and settle for nothing less, even of one team has been dwelling in the others shadow for quite some time. Surely though, this would be ample motivation to send a lesson that they will no longer be happy to reside underneath their rivals?

No matter who has been enjoying the purple patch, or who has the most prolific players, the North London Derby does provide one certainty – fireworks.

A red card, a smattering of contentious decisions and a trait for goals. This game is not to be missed. Dependent on the result though, the replay may be X-Rated.

image