North London arch rivalry as Gunners host Spurs

North London arch rivalry as Gunners host Spurs

North London arch rivalry as Gunners host Spurs

Arsene Wenger still thinks his side has a chance to conquer the Premiership this season. If he’s serious about that, then he should just take a one way ticket back to Strasbourg or a holiday at the French Riviera till the season ends. In truth, the manner in which Arsenal are going about their title charge is in reckless abandon.

The Gunners are eighth, 11 points behind table-toppers Man United, and have won twice in the last seven matches across all competitions, once in their last four league ties. Their defense, which had not conceded any goal in the first three matches of the domestic campaign, is fast becoming error prone, bordering on careless. 

Consistency and a leaking rearguard should be of utmost focus for Le Prof’s men. They should shape up and stop the wilt, otherwise how else will they put doubts in our tinge of déjà vu? There’s pressure on both the manager and the board to return the Gunners to the echelons they soldiered in their premiership winning yesteryears.

Not that Andre Villas-Boas is grinning at the descent of Wenger’s charges. He too is a man making an inferno out of the managerial hot seat. Tottenham Hotspurs have lost three of the last four league games, on the back of a four-match winning run in the league, and that means the Lilywhites have to back to the basics.

Being a point ahead of the Gunners at this stage is of little consequence to the Spurs faithful. Last season, the White Hart Lane outfit was 10 points ahead of their fierce rivals at one point. The season ended with Arsenal finishing a point ahead, and with the manner in which the Lilywhites are losing their leads in matches, should be worrisome to anyone Tottenham.

The North London derby is always thrilling, with a buffet of goals always on the menu. The last time these two sides met at the Emirates, Arsenal from 2-0 down to do a la Man United on the Lilywhites, finishing the game 5-2. In the previous season, it was Spurs who came from two goals down to win 3-2.

These two teams will obviously field their strongest possible squads. It will be interesting to see whether Gareth Bale can run rings around Bacary Sagna or what Santi Carzola has in store for Sandro and Huddlestone. Clint Dempsey and Emmanuel Adebayor should be up to the task, facing the likes of Per Mertesacker and Koscielny, and with Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski leading the home attack, should Brad Friedel start signing his retirement forms?

There’s so much at stake in the early kickoff fixture at the Emirates Stadium; the points, the pride, the turnaround. Whatever happens, only 3:45pm local time can tell. But there should be no doubt about what these two sides need – to up their ante. The Mancunian duo and Chelsea are already taking the highway.

Speaking of the trio, it should be easy, though banana peel, affairs for the Manchester twin towers, with the Red Devils visiting Carrow Road with the intent of making Norwich City sing a Canaries’ tune, while the Citizens will be playing host to Aston Villa. Yes, the team that dispatched them from the League Cup at the Etihad Stadium.

It’s Chelsea who may find the going tough. With interest of Radamel Falcao certain to make Fernando Torres sweat, visiting the Hawthorns to play against a West Brom side that has won five of their six home league fixtures this season cannot be termed ideal. The Baggies are only four points shy of the Blues and Roberto Di Matteo’s side hasn’t won their last three league fixtures.

As for Liverpool, well, we can only hope Brendan Rodgers the best. His team is in dire need of points. Are the Kop Squad ready to jail Wigan Athletic or will the Merseysiders see Red?

Saturday 17th November

3:45pm                 Arsenal – Tottenham, Emirates, SS3

6pm:                      Man City – Aston Villa, Etihad, SS3 and KissTV

6pm:                      Liverpool – Wigan, Anfield, SS5

6pm:                      West Brom – Chelsea, The Hawthorns, SS7

8:30pm                 Norwich – Man United, Carrow Road, SS3

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