We’re all back from the international break, right? Good for me to go on? Yes? Right, let’s get stuck into it!
In a battle of 6th v 3rd, (the home side are currently 6th. Yes, I know) North London bragging rights (and the all-important three points, obviously) are up for grabs as Arsenal welcome Tottenham Hotspur who are spearheaded by Harry Kane.
Both Alexandre Lacazette, and Christian Eriksen reminded us of their talents with the latter scoring a hattrick in his sides emphatic 5-1 win over Republic of Ireland and the former scoring a double brace v Germany.
Thoughts ahead of the game
With Arsene Wenger’s side currently occupying 6th place – level on points with Liverpool, and Burnley, (Wait. BURNLEY?!?!?! Yep!) a win is a must if they’re to get back into top four contention.
As for their local rivals, they’re level on points with second-placed side Manchester United and in order to reduce the deficit to five points, a win is also important for them.
The home side are yet to drop points at home and this would be the perfect fixture to continue the fine form! Mauricio Pochettino’s side are also great away from home but have dropped just three points thus far (the loss to Manchester United late in October). So, which side will falter first?
Both Harry Kane, and Dele Alli are in hot form, so stopping them will take quite some doing!
Shkodran Mustafi and Danny Welbeck will have fitness tests, whilst Olivier Giroud is “unlikely to be fit”.
“It’s one of the fixtures I look forward to. We want to win. In the table, we need to make some ground up on the top teams. At home, we have been strong”.
Of course, we’re yet to drop points at home, but this is where we’ll be tested.
On whether Arsenal are “underdogs”:
“No, not at all. Spurs are a good side – but we have the quality”.
To suggest that Arsenal are “underdogs” in this fixture is absurd.
He was also asked about whether he trusts Alexandre Lacazette:
“He played many games Lacazette. Will he start on Saturday? The decision has not been made”.
Given the French forward scored twice v Germany in the week, that should, in theory, prove why he should start. But will he? That’s the burning question…
How will Arsenal plan against Harry Kane?
Arsene Wenger had this to say:
“To keep him quiet, yes. We have no fear. We are focused on nullifying their string points”.
Kane is on form right now, so it’ll take some doing in taming him, that’s for sure!
Wenger was also asked about Mauricio Pochettino:
“He is a good manager. He has all the ingredients to go a long way. It’s very hard for me to predict what will happen in his career. He will be a manager for a long time”.
What I like about Pochettino is that he knows he can do better with Tottenham. I recall him saying that finishing above Arsenal isn’t at the top of his list, which irked fans. The Argentinian is different from previous managers, as he’s got them thinking like a big club.
I hope Arsenal continue their exceptional form, as that’ll send out a real message to fellow top sides, but it’ll be difficult with the likes of Kane, and Dele Alli hitting top form.
I’m not going to give a score as I believe I’ll “jinx it”.