Arsenal suffered yet another defeat at the weekend at the Emirates against Swansea City, which put in a dent in their title ambitions once again. The Gunners had previously lost
to Barcelona in the Champions League and Manchester United in the Premier League and have now suffered three consecutive losses in all competitions, which would not make Arsene Wenger a happy manager. It will be a top of the table clash between the two north London giants in the battle for supremacy at White Hart Lane on Saturday afternoon and both sides will want to take all three points from the game.
Spurs have been having a good time in recent weeks and are currently placed at second with 54 points from 28 games while their domestic rivals are currently third with 51. Both sides need to take back as many points as possible, as they look to challenge current leaders Leicester City for the title. The hosts have been quite inconsistent with the form, as they have won a couple of games, lost a couple and drawn one in their last five games in all competitions. On the other hand, the visitors have won just once, with three defeats and a draw. Based on their last five encounters, Arsenal have a slight advantage over their opponents as they have won twice, lost once and drawn a couple. A fierce rivalry which will surely have an impact on the way the league season eventually ends.
The home side have three players out injured at present, with Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie ruled out with a knee injury. Further, Mousa Dembele is still a 50-50 for the match and could possibly be back on time for selection. It will be interesting to see whether he shall be played through or not.
On the other hand, Wenger’s side have some serious issues with injuries at the moment and will miss 7 of their key players for this fixture. The likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta will not be available, along with two huge stars Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny not playing a part in the game as well. The veteran keeper suffered a calf strain in the 2-1 home defeat against Swansea City at the Emirates and will now be replaced by David Ospina.
Tottenham: Lloris; Alderweireld, Rose, Walker, Wimmer; Alli, Dier, Eriksen, Lamela, Mason; Kane.
Arsenal: Ospina; Monreal, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Bellerin; Coquelin, Ramsey, Ozil, Sanchez, Campbell, Welbeck.
1. Kane vs Gabriel:
Harry Kane will be a huge threat to the Arsenal defence and in the absence of Laurent Koscielny, it will be up to Brazilian center-back Gabriel Paulista to keep the England international quiet. The striker has been doing a good job for his team and will be once again expected to deliver the goods and it will be up to the Arsenal back-line, including Gabriel to coordinate amongst themselves and keep him out, as they have not really linked well in the last couple of games in the league.
2. Welbeck vs Alderweireld:
Danny Welbeck should start as the lone striker in this match as Olivier Giroud has really failed to score for quite some time now. With goals surely needed in this game, the former Manchester United man should be up against Toby Alderweireld and his defensive partners, who will look to keep him quiet on the night. It should be an intense battle as the Gunners desperately need to win the game if they wish to keep their title challenge alive and should go all in to score some quick goals.
Tottenham 2-1 Arsenal
The home side have been the better team in recent weeks and it should be a close game though Mauricio Pochettino’s side could clinch a narrow win over their opponents.