London Derby: Arsenal v Tottenham Preview
Arsenal will face Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates in the first North London Derby of the season with both sides looking to pick up maximum points in order to keep their bid for top four ticking and alive.
The Gunners are coming into this match on the back of a frustrating 3-3 draw at their own backyard against Fulham last weekend, while their last victory in the league came against relegation fodders Queens Park Rangers last month.
On the other hand, this is the first taste of North London derby for new manager Andre Villas-Boas, whose side has slipped to seventh spot in the league after back to back defeats against Wigan & Manchester City respectively.
Arsenal: First choice goal keeper Wojciech Szczesny is close to a comeback from his ankle problem and could well make a return to the first team while youngster Jack Wilshere who played in the midweek international friendly against Sweden will be available after suspension.
However, striker Olivier Giroud (hamstring/calf), winger Theo Walcott (buttock muscle), midfielder Mikel Arteta (hip) and full-back Bacary Sagna (leg) are causing concerns and their fitness will be assessed prior to the game.
Tottenham: Spurs will welcome back winger Aaron Lennon, who has recovered from a hamstring injury while Jermain Defoe and Kyle Walker, who also had hamstring complaints, will walk into the side with ease. Mousa Dembele is out for the trip with a hip injury while long-term absentees Scott Parker (Achilles), Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee) all remain sidelined.
27/10/2012 (PL) Arsenal 1-0 QPR
30/10/2012 (Capital One) Reading 5-7 (Ext. time) Arsenal
03/11/2012 (PL) Man Utd 2-1 Arsenal
06/11/2012 (UCL) Schalke 2-2 Arsenal
10/11/2012 (PL) Arsenal 3-3 Fulham
28/10/2012 (PL) Southampton 1-2 Spurs
31/10/2012 (Capital One) Norwich 2-1 Spurs
03/11/2012 (PL) Spurs 0-1 Wigan
08/11/2012 (Europa League) Spurs 3-1 NK Maribor
11/11/2012 (PL) Man City 2-1 Spurs
Last time when the two sides met at the Emirates, Arsenal came from behind to win by 5-2 in February. But Arsenal’s recent records at home are not convincing at all, having won only two of their last eight Premier League games at the Emirates. Thereby, expect few surprises today, and of course a feisty affair as always.
Who will win the first North London derby of the season? Let us know your predictions below…