This weekend, Arsenal have it all to do to continue their faint hopes of a top-four finish by beating their fiercest rivals. They’ve been looking good with back-to-back wins over Middlesbrough and Leicester City and with the Manchester duo drawing a blank on Thursday, that has made Arsenals quest a little “easier”.
Wins over Middlesbrough and Leicester, with an FA Cup semi-final win over Manchester City sandwiched in-between, have surely given Arsenal some confidence going into this game.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger was asked about a potential “power shift” in North London, to which he replied, “the weight of one year is not the same as the weight of 20 years.” Speaking of which, the team in white must do something REALLY special if a “power shift” is to be seriously considered. A win will mathematically secure Tottenham finishing above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years.
I’m not thinking about beating the enemy (just yet), I’m just focused on getting the job in hand done. But, it would be great to beat them in the last North London derby at White Hart Lane though. Think about that for a moment.
Whilst Mustafi will be out for two more weeks, Wenger has stated that Laurent Koscielny has a 60-40 chance of facing Mauricio Pochettino’s side. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is fit to start after being left on the bench in the win over Leicester City.
Moussa Dembele, however, is a concern for the home side due to an ankle injury. Other than those, there are no other injuries to report on unless there’s some freak training ground incident.
Pochettino believes his side can still snatch the title away from Chelsea, he voiced that only a winning run will keep his side on track. He also says he’ll be disappointed if his side do not win the title and has dismissed being content with finishing above Arsenal (the fans will have a field day, however).
Whilst he won’t be fazed about finishing above Arsenal, he does realise the importance of the match, especially as it’s a derby.
Going into this game, I have an odd feeling that Tottenham will be overwhelmed by sentiment (seeing as it’s the last derby between the sides at White Hart Lane), but I highly doubt that’ll happen.
Arsenal haven’t beaten their geographical rivals since a 1-0 win in March 2014, whilst the last time a win for either side was recorded was when Tottenham claimed maximum points in February 2015 with a 2-1 win.
The last time the sides met was in November. A 1-1 draw was probably a fair result back then. Could they be separated this time around?
I won’t say that Arsenal will win this (I don’t want to jinx this), but I hope the right Arsenal turn up.
Come on you rip roaring reds!
Featured Image Credit: ctwino