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Preview: Arsenal vs Spurs, team news, trio to return + prediction
The big one is almost upon us as Arsenal welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon for the first North London derby of the new season.
Many pundits are saying this is the perfect time for Arsenal to play Spurs. We’re in excellent form having not lost in our last 15 games while they’re winless in their last 6.
We come in to the game off the back of a morale-boosting last minute winner over Ludogorets to secure our safe passage to the knockout stages of the Champions League while Spurs crashed to a 2-1 home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.
So the pundits may have a point. However, we all know that form tends to go out the window on derby day and anything can happen so I’m sure Arsene Wenger won’t let the players get complacent.
Manchester City slipped up today and drew 1-1 at home to Middlesbrough and while Chelsea moved top after thrashing Everton 5-0, we can leapfrog the Blues and go clear at the top with a win tomorrow.
Walcott is expected to return to the starting eleven after recovering from a hamstring injury while Bellerin should also come back in at right-back after overcoming a minor niggle.
Monreal has been snapped in training today so it looks as though he’s won his race to be fit after missing the last three games with a thigh injury while Gibbs also looks to be fine despite picking up a shoulder injury in midweek.
Unfortunately, there has been no sign of Cazorla in any training session this week so it looks as though the midfielder will once again miss out with an achilles injury and join Mertesacker, Welbeck and Perez on the sidelines.
As for Spurs, they’ll be missing Alderweireld, Sissoko [suspension] and Davies while Dembele is a doubt, but Kane is set to return after recovering from an ankle injury.
Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose, Wanyama, Winks, Alli, Eriksen, Son, Kane.
It’s always difficult to predict derby games as anything can happen, however, we should be in confident mood and I really hope we get at them early as they are certainly there to be got at. If we are on top form, I can see us rolling them over but I have a feeling they’ll up their game so I’m going for a nervy 2-1 win. Arsenal 2-1 Spurs