Spurs are set to enter the world-famous North London Derby this Saturday, with the opportunity of finishing as Premier League leaders by the end of the ninety minutes. Not only would a win make history for Spurs, but securing all three points in the derby could prove to be the defining moment of Tottenham’s season and would only add more hope and belief to their title bid.
Both Tottenham and their opponent will be heading into this match on the back of a defeat during midweek round of fixtures. Throughout this season, Spurs have shown tremendous resilience and bounce-back ability which suggests that they can wipe a clean slate and forget about their midweek nightmare. For Arsenal, the story is different. Not only will they be hugely embarrassed by their loss to sixteenth place Swansea City, but their defeat was a night to remember for the Gunners .
Pete Cech is out for three-four weeks with a hamstring injury
Petr Cech, who has been rock-solid in goal for Arsenal this season, picked up a calf injury in the final moments of the game which will have him ruled out of the North London Derby. To make matters even worse, their defender of the season Laurent Koscielny also picked up a calf injury, which will see him out of this afternoons derby too. Surely there could be no better news for Spurs fans ahead of this afternoons game?
What the managers had to say
Both Mauricio Pochettino and Arsene Wenger underlined the importance of today’s derby however it seemed as though Mauricio is the more confident of the two.
In his press conference, Wenger admitted that “ maybe our [Arsenal’s] confidence is a little bit jaded but it’s like always in football . It is one of the few derbies where the title is at stake. It’s a big one , a very important one”.
Whereas Mauricio didn’t seem to be nervous at all which I’m sure that many Spurs fans admire. He said “We expect another tough game against Arsenal, but I don’t feel the squad feels pressure”.
For Spurs, Dele Alli and Moussa Dembele are expected to return after being out with respective ankle and groin problems whilst Jan Vertonghen and Clinton N’Jie remain out of the squad through knee injuries.
The Gunners have a whole list of injuries which include Petr Cech (calf), Laurent Koscielny (calf), Santi Cazorla (Achilles), Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (Knee), Tomas Rosicky (thigh) and, naturally, Jack Wilshere (shin).
As addressed by both managers, this is one of the few North London Derbies where the title is at stake. Whilst a win for Spurs would see them reach top spot in the league table whereas a win for Arsenal would see them draw level on points with Tottenham. The North London Derby is one of the world’s most watched fixtures and year after year it never fails to ooze entertainment; let’s hope that this one sees Spurs in first place come the final whistle.
There’s going to be fireworks.
By Matt Boon