- Date: Sunday September 24 – 14.00 BST
- Location: Emirates Stadium, London
- Teams: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
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Huge North London Derby as both teams aim to sustain momentum
Arsenal have made a positive start to the season, after last season brought an unexpected title challenge, albeit with a deflating finish. However, the Gunners’ board have been quick to recognise the progress made by Mikel Arteta and have backed him in the transfer market this summer. Declan Rice is already looking comfortable in the engine room. They will have been disappointed to drop points at home to Fulham, though will have been pleased with the spirit they showed. They went into the international break in good heart after they overcame Manchester United with a stoppage time double before securing a 1-0 win away at struggling Everton. The North London derby will provide a stern test of their credentials, with their rivals having started well. The Gunners host PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League before turning their attention to hte North London derby.
Versatile new signing Jurrien Timber will be out of action for the foreseeable future with a knee injury. Mohamed Elneny has had successful surgery on his knee problem, however there is no return date set. Thomas Partey will be missing, the midfielder has been sidelined with a groin injury since before the international break and is unlikely to return before October.
Tottenham have started the season extremely well under new boss Ange Postecoglou, despite the loss of Harry Kane to Bayern Munich. After an opening day draw against Brentford Spurs have rattled off victories over Man United, Bournemouth, Burnley and Sheffield United. The win over the Blades came via a late turnaround with two injury time goals. Postecoglou’s side showed character to find a way to win when things didn’t look to be going their way. And as a lack of resilience was a criticism frequently levelled at the Cockerills over the last couple of seasons, the manner of the result will come as a huge boost. A trip to the Emirates is a tough test for any side, so, when you add in the spice of a North London derby, the match will be a benchmark for the progress made under Postecoglou as the former Celtic boss looks to guide Spurs back into Europe.
Tottenham were dealt a blow this week when Croatia winger Ivan Perisic sustained a serious anterior cruciate ligament injury during training. The injury took place during a non-contact sessionPeresic is expected to miss the rest of the season.
In addition to Perisic, Rodrigo Bentancur, Ryan Sessegnon and Bryan Gil all remain on the sidelines with injury. Giovani Lo Celso could return.
Arsenal did the league double over Tottenham last season, the first time they have achieved this since 2013/14. The six points helped Arsenal to second place in the Premier League, finishing above Tottenham for the first time since 2015/16. Both sides have made positive starts to the season, and, as ever with derbies, the occasion may have a bearing on the result. While Spurs have made progress and look much more solid than last season, the influence of Rice appears to have increased Arsenal’s level of control in midfield. A home win looks like the most likely outcome.
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