Arsenal will be determined to hit back from another bad result in Europe by extending their fine run in the Premier League, but it will not be a simple task as North London rivals Tottenham are unbeaten in 10 top-flight matches.
Injuries are becoming a growing concern for home boss Arsene Wenger, and they certainly had a part to play in what turned out to be a chastening defeat in Munich on Wednesday; one which leaves their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League hanging by a thread. The Gunners were just overwhelmed by a side that showed just why they are one of the best in Europe, but they have come into this weekend behind Premier League leaders Manchester City only on goal difference.
The convincing win at Swansea City last weekend showed truly what Arsenal are all about, and the likes of Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil will be keen to continue their sparkling domestic form by doing their neighbours damage here, which is no easy task when Tottenham’s fine defensive record is taken into consideration. However, they may have the psychological edge coming into this one, having won when the two sides met in the Capital One Cup in September.
Despite scoring three and winning with a degree of comfort, Tottenham clearly had extra gears to find when they saw off bottom club Aston Villa on Monday evening, a result which lifted them up to fifth in the Premier League and kept them within just five point of top spot. They scored at ideal times in the game, only losing their firm grip on proceedings for a spell in the second half when a sense of complacency may have set in.
But they recovered sufficiently enough for Harry Kane to wrap the game up in stoppage time, and the England striker made it five goals in three games with the opener against Anderlecht in the Europa League three days later. But he is not the only man in white who is in form in front of goal, as Mousa Dembele himself has scored in the club’s last three outings thanks to a mixture of tenacity and finesse. The Belgian is becoming a more influential player in the side, and here will be part of a fascinating midfield battle with Francis Coquelin.
Mathieu Debuchy will play at right-back for Arsenal due to an injury to Hector Bellerin, but Laurent Koscielny will recover from a hip problem in time to play. While a host of key players remain out, Mikel Arteta will be assessed.
Tottenham are boosted by the return of forward Son Heung-min after six weeks on the sidelines, and Clinton N’Jie is likely to be back available. Danny Rose was forced off against Villa but should be fit to play.
Last Meeting: Arsenal dominated much of the encounter in September 2014, but wastefulness in front of goal meant they were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw. They had to come from behind as Spurs took the lead through Nacer Chadli’s composed finish from Christian Eriksen’s pass after 56 minutes, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ensuring the honours were shared by firing a shot into the roof of the net.
Played for both – Sol Campbell: A quality central defender, Campbell began his career at Tottenham and became a club stalwart over nine years at the club, making some 255 Premier League appearances and scoring 10 goals. However, the majority of their supporters will never forgive his subsequent move to Highbury, where he won the Premier League title twice, including as part of the Invincibles in 2o04. He left after netting in the 2006 Champions League final before making a brief return in 2010.