Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League Match Preview
Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium this afternoon (12.30pm kick-off UK time).
The Gunners go into today’s match in 6th position in the Premier League table, with 19 points from 11 games.
Arsenal have a 100% home record in the Premier League this season.
Arsenal have won their opening five home matches to a Premier League season for the first time since 2009/10. They last won their first six at home in 2007/08.
The Gunners have claimed 10 successive Premier League wins at the Emirates. It is their longest winning run at the stadium.
Arsene Wenger’s side are unbeaten in 16 home games in league and cup since a 5-1 loss against Bayern Munich in March (W14, D2).
After losing last time out in the Premier League, a 3-1 defeat away at Manchester City, the Gunners could suffer back-to-back league defeats for the first time since August.
Arsenal have lost 10 league games in 2017, equalling their highest total in a calendar year under Wenger. The last time they suffered more defeats was in 1995, when they lost 14 times.
Tottenham are in 3rd position in the Premier League table, with 23 points from 11 games.
Spurs have claimed just one away league win against last season’s top six under Mauricio Pochettino, (D6, L9), claiming nine points out of a possible 48.
Tottenham have 10 Premier League away wins this calendar year – no side has a better record – while their tally of 37 goals on the road is a league-high.
After losing their last Premier League away match, a 1-0 loss at Manchester United, defeat would mean Tottenham lose back-to-back away league games for the first time in almost a year.
Arsenal are on their longest ever winless run against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, having drawn four and lost two of the last six matches against them.
Spurs have won just two of their previous 32 league games away to Arsenal (D13, L17), winning 3-1 at Highbury in 1993 and 3-2 at the Emirates Stadium in 2010.
Tottenham have dropped 37 points from winning positions in Premier League games against Arsenal, the most by any side in a particular fixture.
The teams drew last season’s corresponding fixture 1-1 on the 6 November 2016. Arsenal opening the scoring through a Kevin Wimmer own goal (42nd minute) and Spurs equalising with a Harry Kane penalty kick (51 minutes).
Spurs won the last meeting between the sides 2-0 at White Hart Lane on 30 April 2017, with goals from Dele Alli (55th minute) and Harry Kane (58th minute penalty-kick). That result ensured that Tottenham Hotspur finished above Arsenal in the league for the first time since the 1994/95 season.
Record signing Alexandre Lacazette has scored six goals in his opening 11 Premier League matches since arriving from Lyon in the summer.
Harry Kane has scored 17 goals in 17 games for club and country this season. Kane has scored in all five of his Premier League north London derbies, netting six goals in total. Only Emmanuel Adebayor (8) and Robert Pires (7) have scored more goals in this fixture.
This is what Wenger had to say about coping with the pressure of a north London derby.
“First of all there’s always pride involved, the desire to beat your opponent like all the neighbours in the world have.
“It’s always a fierce derby. As well to keeping your nerve, you must have full commitment while being lucid and calm enough to focus on the game.
“It’s one of the fixtures that is very important for us and that we want to win, as well because in the table we have to make some ground up on the top teams.
“At home we have been very strong and our home strength will certainly be vital to decide where we finish at the end of the season.
“I think Tottenham are a good side but we have the quality to win this game and that’s what we want to show.”
This is what Wenger had to say about the ongoing issue of whether he currently has a squad of players with the mental toughness for mounting and sustaining a Premier League challenge.
“Well, that’s the kind of remarks you’ve had for 20 years. I remember many people asked me if (Robert)Pires would be tough enough to play in the derby. This is a guy who scored more goals than anybody in the derby. At the end of the day, it’s down to the quality of the game.
“We have to agree on what is tough and what is not tough. I believe that a football player has to be efficient and that counts the most. Efficiency if you’re a defender is not to make any mistakes and to win the ball. If you’re a striker, it’s to put the ball into the back of the net. Is that tough? It doesn’t matter too much – it’s how efficient you are in your game.”
Pochettino has yet to lose a Premier League north London derby (W2 D4), though all three of his visits to Emirates Stadium as Spurs manager have been draws.
“For me, there is no favourites in this type of game. He [Arsene Wenger] is a fantastic manager. I respect him a lot and admire him.
“If you see the history, Arsenal were above Tottenham and [Wenger] deserves a lot of credit for that. To stay in a club five years is because you are a good manager; if you stay 10 years it’s because you must be very good.
“To stay more than 20 years you must be special.”
Shkodran Mustafi and Danny Welbeck face late fitness tests to determine whether they will be involved.
Laurent Koscielny is available after being rested for France’s World Cup warm-up match with Germany on Tuesday, which allowed him to rest his Achilles.
Olivier Giroud is out after suffering an injury to his right thigh in France’s win over Wales in a World Cup warm up match on 10th November.
Harry Kane will be fit to play after recovering from a hamstring injury which forced him to miss his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on October 28, and to being substituted late in the second half of the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on 5th November. He was left out of England’s World Cup warm-up matches against Germany on 10th November and Brazil on 14th November.
Dele Alli and Harry Winks are also expected to feature despite missing England duty because of injury problems.
Hugo Lloris, who missed the Premier League win against Crystal Palace a fortnight ago because of a groin injury, could also return.
Toby Alderweireld’s hamstring problem will be sideline him until after Christmas.
Mousa Dembele is fully fit after recovering from a foot injury and could make his first start for two months.
Referee: Mike Dean
Assistants: Ian Hussin, Eddie Smart
Fourth official: Kevin Friend
Arsenal to win 2-1.