Following Arsenal’s thrashing of Spurs 5-2 earlier in the season at the Emirates, Spurs will be seeking revenge as both teams chase after Champions League places and North London bragging rights.
Arsenal are without several first team players for the derby this weekend. While Kieran Gibbs is a long term absentee, Bacary Sagna will also miss out due to a knee injury, meaning Nacho Monreal and Carl Jenkinson look set to start the match. Mr Injury himself, Abou Diaby, is rated at 50-50 for the fixture as he struggles to shake off a calf problem. However, Arsenal have competition for places as Podolski and Koscielny will both be in contention for places after being rested in last week’s win over Aston Villa.
Tottenham are also without some key players, most notably Jermaine Defoe, Clint Dempsey and Tom Huddlestone, pointing to a likely start for Arsenal reject Emmanuel Adebayor. However, most importantly for Spurs is that in form winger Gareth Bale is still match fit, and so whoever plays at right back for Arsenal will be in for a tough ride, given that the Welsh winger has been Spurs most potent attacker this season.
Arsenal: Szczesny; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal; Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla; Podolski, Giroud, Walcott.
Spurs: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Vertonghen; Lennon, Parker, Dembele, Holtby, Bale; Adebayor.
The rivalry between these two sides has heated up again recently, due to Spurs now being in contention for a Champions League position and both sides firmly believing they can win the match, owing to both sides excellent league form of late.
Sundays match is a must win match for both sides, especially Arsenal, as we try to propel ourselves into the Champions League spots and close the gap on Spurs. Now is the time for the Arsenal players to truly show they have what it takes to play for the club!