Arsenal have a massive chance to set the record straight after their 5-1 drubbing to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night, with arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur traveling to Emirates on Sunday for the North London Derby. A few days rest allows for some rest and recuperation ahead of the crunch tie that will see Arsene Wenger look to extend his incredible record against Spurs. In their last 46 meetings, Arsenal have lost just seven times, winning a total 19 times (via The Guardian).
The Gunners endured a very turbulent season so far, their Premier League started off horribly with the loss to West Ham United, but they’ve quickly turned it around domestically despite some hiccups on the European stage.
The Gunners are walking a tight rope for qualification to the Round of 16 in the Champions League. Only results going their way and convincing wins in the last two matches will ensure a last ditch surge to the knockout stages. But what better way to get their minds off of being battered and winded? Nothing like a North London Derby to stoke up the fire in the players belly’s.
As mentioned earlier, Arsenal have enjoyed the taste of victory far more often than their north London counterparts. But after our midweek capitulation and Spurs’ strong form of late in the Premier League it won’t be somewhat of a walk over however the Gunners are strong favourites at 3/4 (via Justbookies). Of course the Gunners 2-0 victory at White Hart Lane earlier this season will boost our confidence, Mathieu Flamini the unlikely hero with two very well taken goals.
Arsenal will hope to have Laurent Koscielny back in the mix, while Hector Bellerin is confirmed to be absent (via Arsenal.com). The two were badly missed against Bayern especially Koscielny whose organizational skills and telepathy with Per Mertesacker would have greatly aided the Gunners back line that was ripped apart by the ferocious Germans.
Arsenal could take some encouragement from an attacking point of view in the fact that they were able to create chances and get into promising positions. The buildup to Mesut Ozil’s ‘goal’ and Santi Cazorla’s one on one miss was superb, not to mention how well Olivier Giroud took his goal. Both Ozil and Giroud will be up for the NLD as will Alexis Sanchez who has dipped slightly once more.
This Arsenal outfit have responded in the past when necessary, we’ve had several disappointments this season and this setback is nothing new. Time to get back on that horse.