#NLD! Aubameyang to continue his scoring record against Spurs
Match Preview: Tottenham vs. Arsenal - Premier League - 10.02.2018
The North London Derby has always been immensely important to the fans however it lacked significance beyond bragging rights. Tottenham were just not at Arsenal's level and try as they might they couldn't truly consider themselves rivals to the Gunners. That changed about 10 years ago when Arsenal's star began to dim and Tottenham's burnt a little brighter. There were many false dawns proclaiming a power shift in North London and despite finishing beneath Tottenham for the first time in over 20 years last season it is arguable that the power still lies with the Gunners - for now.
This weekend's early Saturday kick-off is vitally important to both clubs. There is the bragging rights of course but there is so much more at stake. Tottenham need to stay in the top four to help pay for their new stadium and Arsenal need to get back into the Champions League to continue to attract top talent. Just four points separate the two clubs yet this result could change the face of the season. A win for the home side would put them 7 points beyond Arsenal and almost assured of finishing above their vastly more successful neighbours for the second consecutive season. An Arsenal win however could be the start of a run of form that propels Arsenal into the Champions League spots and sees them finish the season with silverware again.
Arsène Wenger is not short of attacking options despite moving on Walcott, Giroud and Alexis in January. Surprisingly, given he was carrying a winter virus, Aubameyang started his first game for the club after just one training session in the 5-1 home win against Everton last week. The Gabon hotshot opened his Arsenal account on his debut and displayed excellent movement which had Arsenal fans eager for more. The show was stolen, however, by the other half of an ex-Dortmund lethal dyad - Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Mkhitaryan covered every blade of grass as he put in an incredible all-round display capped off with three excellent assists. Although it is early days it seems Wenger will have little problem accommodating Özil and Mkhitaryan in the same side. However, Arsenal's new-look attack will find the Spurs defence far sterner than they did Everton. Under Pochettino Tottenham have become a well-organised, tactical side and Arsenal are not known for their own defensive stoicism.
One thing that can be said of Tottenham is they perhaps lack a little creativity and therefore it might be an idea for Arsenal to relinquish possession of the ball and hit Spurs on the counter. The risk of course is that Arsenal's defence would be required to maintain concentration for 90 minutes.
This will be a game of goals, that's practically guaranteed. Given they are at home Tottenham would be expected to win however they're at Wembley and Arsenal have a better big game record there than Spurs so who will come up trumps is anyone's guess. Aubameyang has a good record against Spurs and Arsenal's midfielders will be feeling pretty confident after that Everton performance so the Gunners might just edge this one.
LAST THREE Meetings
- Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham (18.11.2017)
- Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal (30.04.2017)
- Arsenal 1-1 Tottenham (06.11.2016)
- Tottenham have dropped 37 points from leading positions in Premier League games against Arsenal - the worst record of any club against any opposition in Premier League history.
- Arsenal beat Spurs for the first time in seven Premier League meetings in the reverse fixture last November.
- This is the first game between the sides at Wembley since April 1993, when a goal by Tony Adams gave Arsenal a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final victory.
- The two clubs have met 194 times in all competitions, with Arsenal leading by 81 wins to Tottenham's 62.
- Spurs are unbeaten in eight league games but have drawn three of the last five.
- Arsène Wenger's side are winless in 15 Premier League away games against the current top five clubs since a 2-0 victory at Manchester City in January 2015 (D6, L9).
- Mauricio Pochettino's side have gone 12 home matches without defeat in the Premier League, winning eight of the past 10.
- Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine matches at Wembley Stadium, winning them all including two penalty shootouts.
- Since Pochettino took charge, Spurs have the best home record in Premier League matches between the current top six teams: 10 wins and 35 points from 18 fixtures.
- Tottenham have scored in 14 successive top-flight matches since the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on 18 November.
- The Gunners have gone eight league games without a clean sheet since mid-December.
- Spurs have conceded nine of their 24 league goals this season, or 38%, after the 75th minute of matches.
- Harry Kane has scored six goals in six league games against Arsenal. He has 21 goals in 32 Premier League London derby matches, an average of 0.66 per game.
- Arsenal have only averaged a point per away game in the Premier League this season, with three wins, four draws and six defeats. They have the division's ninth best away record.
- The Gunners could suffer three straight away defeats in the Premier League for the first time since a run of four losses ended last April.
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four goals in four appearances against Tottenham: one in the Champions League and three goals in the Europa League.
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan has set up three Premier League goals in 120 minutes of action for Arsenal, as many as Alexis Sanchez managed in 1507 minutes for the Gunners this season.
Cazorla, of course, is ruled out. Cech is doubtful.
POSSIBLE STARTING XI
Ospina; Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi, Özil; Aubameyang.
2-1 to Arsenal. Aubameyang to continue his good record against Tottenham.Tell us what you think! If you agree, or have a different view, please leave a comment in the comments section or why not write a response or your own article on YouWrite?
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