Arsenal welcome North London rivals Tottenham this weekend at the Emirates.
Four wins in five games, one home defeat in 21, have not conceded a goal against them in 3 games. We hardly have anything to prove to show that Arsenal are the perennial kings of North London. Tottenham fans still wait for that day when they will finish above Arsenal in the League, but like past generations will tell you, it just won’t happen.
Yet, the North London Derby is more than just a chance to re-write history, or play a football game. League or Cup, the atmosphere is always feisty right from the train stations, through the streets and to whichever ground will play host on the day.
Saturday, 27th September 2014, the 270th day in the year, is the date. The Emirates, the venue.
A record of 2 wins and 3 draws, including one away to Everton and at home to City, has seen us pick 9 points from the available 15, to remain unbeaten so far. There is not much in contrast from the Spurs as they have also picked up two wins, but have been beaten twice at home by Liverpool and West Brom. They are without a win in three consecutive League games but come into this clash with a little boost in confidence after coming from behind to overcome Championship side, Notthingham Forest.
As it has happened over the years, this fixture is one which provides a glut of goals, with Arsenal mostly on the supplying end. Bar the 2011 fixture where we let a comfortable 2-goal lead slip to end up with a 2-3 defeat, Arsenal has not failed to win the League North London derby at home, scoring 11 times in the process. This season, both teams have not exactly found it all rosy in front of goal, Arsenal with 10 to their 7, though we have conceded the same number of goals (6). It may be a pointer to the possibility of a more cautious approach to be expected from both managers. However, that will not be in keeping with the tradition of this fixture.
Unlike Villas-Boas side last season, they have a side that was not extravagantly assembled with free money and concocted to play football. Eriksen and Lamela have had more time to blend, while Nacer Chadli and the previously exiled Adebayor have plucked their most rhythmic strings of the season. Adebayor, in particular, always plays like he has a point to prove against us, having scored twice in the each of the 5-2 games, both penalties anyway. No player has scored more goals in the North London Derby than the Togolese, scoring 8 times during his time with us. With a new manager, we may expect them to play a little differently from the teams who failed to score against us all through last season.
With his high-pressing tactic, Pochettino has demanded “bravery” from his lads on Saturday, which basically means not to be afraid to tear down and bruise. They will look to exploit their slight physical advantage over us.
Decisive Battle: Danny Welbeck vs Younes Kaboul
Danny is the hardest man to track to a spot in the Arsenal team and with Kaboul and Vertonghen keen on not letting him go through them, Welbeck’s ability to draw players out of position with his unpredictable positional switches can provide space for the other attacking players to run into, as we saw with Ozil at Villa park.
On our day, we can beat any team in the world. Our team is still better than the Spurs side and bar any gifts by the referee to Totenham, it should be a comfortable victory for us. By two. what are your guesses?
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