Updated: Jan 14
Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur face off in a nail-biting North-London derby this Sunday. Both teams, despite their high standards are far from Champions League qualifying spots this season. With only a point's difference between them and being in 8th place and 9th place respectively, securing Europa League spots would turn out to be a rather great season for them.
Arsenal must be coming into this game with quite some confidence, having won two of their last three matches against Norwich City and Wolves and drawing the other against Leicester City.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrating with Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka after he scored a goal against Leicester City.
Spurs, on the other hand, have lost, won and drawn their last three games respectively. Their last game being disappointing in particular, drawing 0-0 at Vitality Stadium against relegation threatened Bournemouth. Spurs had a penalty denied in the first half when it appeared that Joshua King pushed Spurs striker Harry Kane inside the penalty box while defending a corner. Bournemouth might have picked up the win in the 89th minute when Callum Wilson had a goal ruled out by VAR due to handball by King in the buildup.
Jose Mourinho was fuming at the denial of the Spurs penalty.
Eddie Nketiah's red card against Leicester sees him get suspended for the next three games and means that Alexandre Lacazette will mostly start. Mikel Arteta is extremely likely to stick to the same lineup as against Leicester City. Matteo Guendouzi, David Luiz and Mesut Ozil are all unlikely to play. Emiliano Martinez is set to start as Bernd Leno remains out due to the injury he suffered against Brighton. Arsenal's defence and midfield has looked quite consistent and has played well in recent games not showing any signs of inconsistency.
Spurs midfielder Dele Alli is still out due to the hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined for weeks. Eric Dier too is going to be out for the second of his four match suspension. On the other hand, Troy Parrott and Japhet Tanganga have returned to training. Jose Mourinho is also likely to start the same lineup as he did against Bournemouth, most probably starting young sensation Steven Bergwijn and either Erik Lamela or Son Heung-Min on the flanks.
I personally think that Arsenal are just going to edge 2-1 over their North-London rivals. Based on recent performances, Arsenal have improved a lot since the first game of restart which was against Manchester City losing 3-0 and then losing again to Brighton conceding a last minute goal to Neal Maupay. Players like Aubameyang, Dani Ceballos, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka are starting to prove their worth at the club since the restart. Spurs have been really inconsistent with Mourinho not being able to bring a noticeable change to the club. However, having quality players like Kane, Son, Bergwijn, Lo Celso, Winks, Lamela and many more, they might fancy snatching a point from Arsenal.