In form Tottenham against recovering Arsenal in a derby encounter that always guarantee’s goals, sounds like a recipe for a lovely Sunday afternoon.
The neutrals will be rubbing their hands with glee, last season’s two league games saw 11 goals scored not to mention the other 5 scored in the League cup. North London derbies appear free of the tension and nerves that hamper some of England’s other great footballing rivalries, in fact there has only been one goal less game in the last 31 meetings.
I sound like I am putting too much emphasis on the goals okay so let’s look at one of the personnel likely to be involved on Sunday, its none other than Emmanuel Adebayor who will face his old team mates in the white of Spurs. Adebayor you will remember scored 8 goals in 9 games for Arsenal against his new team; makes for some added spice surely.
Tottenham have won their last three leagues on the trot, scoring 9 goals in the process and Harry Redknapp’s second string added to that tally when they scored three against Irish side Shamrock Rovers in Thursday’s Europa league clash.
Of those that featured against the Irish side, Kyle Walker, Jermaine Defoe and possibly the fit again Aaron Lennon should feature against the Gunners, although Lennon’s groin strain which forced him off against Rovers will be assessed over the weekend.
William Gallas, Michael Dawson and Tom Huddlestone are all on the injured list however Steven Pienaar could make his season’s debut after overcoming a groin problem.
Arsenal meanwhile look to be turning a corner, and have beaten Shrewsbury, Bolton and Olympiakos in their last three games however against the Greek’s the defensives frailties that have dogged their start to the season were once again in evidence. That said Arsene Wengers side held on and the veteran manager will be glad to be able to call on the services of Theo Walcott for Sunday’s game, the England international has been one of Arsenal’s star players so far.
Defender Johan Djourou, Jack Wilshere, Laurent Koscielny Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby are all set to miss out while there are doubts over Gervinho, Sebastien Squillaci and Yossi Benayoun should all be available after returning to training.
Prediction: Arsenal have won just one of their last six meetings with Tottenham however they might just give boss Arsene Wenger, who celebrates 15 years in charge of the Gunners this weekend, the perfect anniversary present with a battling performance. Emmanuel Adebayor looks set to play a large part in proceeding’s, whether its in the form of goals or controversy and his depending on which of the two it is could have a large bearing on the outcome.
Tottenham (from): Gomes, Friedel, Cudicini, Bale, Kaboul, Bassong, Corluka, Walker, King, Assou-Ekotto, Rose, Parker, Modric, Livermore, Townsend, Carroll, Lennon, Kranjcar, Rose, Falque, Sandro, Pienaar, Pavlyuchenko, Defoe, Dos Santos, Adebayor, Van der Vaart.
Arsenal (from): Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Song, Andre Santos, Frimpong, Arteta, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Arshavin, Gervinho, Benayoun, Squillaci, Chamakh, Walcott, van Persie, Fabianski, Park, Jenkinson, Coquelin.