Rivalries reignited as Arsenal host Spurs


In the first North London Derby of the season, Tottenham travel to the Emirates and renew hostilities with Arsenal.

With both sides entering the match on the back of a defeat, Sunday’s clash represents a vital fixture in their respective seasons. Spurs were stunned by Newcastle with a Joelinton strike enough to snatch all three points at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Meanwhile, Arsenal experienced another torrid trip to Anfield, losing 3-1 largely thanks to a Mohamed Salah second-half brace.

Team news

Unai Emery remains without new signing Kieran Tierney (Groin) and the defensive pair of Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding with knee injuries. Mesut Ozil could return after off-field issues have delayed his start to the season.

For the trip to the Emirates, Spurs are definitely without defender Juan Foyth, who continues to nurse a foot injury. New arrival Ryan Sessegnon and young full-back Kyle Walker-Peters will play no part in the clash after both picking up thigh injuries. However, Pochettino may have midfielders Tanguy Ndombele (hamstring) and Dele Alli (thigh) available with both starting to recover from their knocks. It is believed to be 50-50 for whether the pair will feature.

Unai Emery understood the importance of his side playing with a high intensity in the North London Derby:

“Yes, intensity was very important. They are going to try and play with identity and need to impose our gameplan against them, knowing it’s going to be difficult. We need to look at our position defensively and offensively. Above all, we need to play each ball, each metre, each minute with that intensity.

For us, to play matches like last week against Liverpool and this week against Tottenham, the two teams who played the final of the Champions League last year, is amazing. I think it’s the best test and every time is a good moment to play against them.

Sunday, with our supporters, I think is the best moment to play and enjoy with our supporters in that match, that derby. After that is for the football. I think maybe that on Sunday, that match is the best match in the world for all football supporters.”

In the build-up to Sunday’s match, Pochettino was asked about recent speculation regarding his own future and whether it will affect his players:

“What I can say about that stupid rumour. After five years now I start the sixth and you know how we worked in the summer to try to rebuild and update because from (version) 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0 and now 6.0 MP software, you know. That stupidity can happen through some rumour sent into social media that creates a big problem that doesn’t exist. I’m not going to walk away after the north London derby.

I’m going to be here Monday, Tuesday. My plan is to travel – I’m not going to tell you where because I have some commitments, and then Friday again to London, meeting with Daniel (Levy), the weekend I think I’m going to watch some games live of national teams and Monday is preparing the week. I’m not going to walk away. I’m not this type of person to send a message through social media.

It’s clear no? Do you bet? It’s closed now eh? You lose your money.”


With Sunday’s showdown the 199th the two teams have met, Arsenal do have the edge in the head-to-head record. They have been the victors 82 times, whilst Spurs have edged 64 of those. The other 52 matches have all ended in a draw.

Expected line-ups

Arsenal (4-2-3-1) – Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Monreal; Xhaka, Guendouzi; Pepe, Ceballos, Aubameyang; Lacazette.

Tottenham (4-2-3-1) –  Lloris; Sissoko, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose; Winks, Dier; Eriksen, Son Heung-Min, Lucas; Kane.


About Author

Football, Boxing and Cricket correspondent from Hampshire, covering southern sport. Editor and Head of Boxing at Prost International. Accreditated EFL & EPL journalist.

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