Martin Keown has explained how he thinks Arsenal can see off Tottenham on Sunday and says he expects the Gunners to beat their north London rivals 2-0 at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger’s side go into the game on the back of a 15 game unbeaten run and fresh from a memorable comeback win against Ludogorets in midweek.
Spurs, meanwhile, were beaten by Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley on Wednesday night and are struggling for goals. Mauricio Pochettino’s men also have injury problems with key men Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele all doubtful for the clash.
Keown is confident Arsenal can inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on Spurs but says they must not be complacent going into the game.
“Arsenal are in such a strong position at the moment and I’d back them to win 2-0, with goals from Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil,” he told the Daily Mail.
“Tottenham have scored just two goals in their last five games and are without a win in six in all competitions. It would be wrong of Arsenal to underestimate Tottenham, though, especially with the extra effort a derby can bring.
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“Dele Alli is an outstanding footballer with a great career ahead of him. He is probably Tottenham’s most dangerous player. Arsenal must also be wary of the threat Kyle Walker possesses down the right. Mousa Dembele going off injured was a huge blow given his importance to the team, though. It looked like Victor Wanyama missed having the Belgian alongside him.”
Keown has also given his thoughts on team selection and says Sanchez must keep his place in a central role, despite the return to form and fitness of Olivier Giroud.
“Arsene Wenger needs to stick with Sanchez through the middle. It has given Arsenal a massive change to their game because they now have that threat in behind,” he added.
“The one thing I would say is that there is an impatience with Sanchez. In the 0-0 with Middlesbrough he got deeper and deeper when he needed to stay high. There were times when Mesut Ozil was ending up beyond Sanchez.
“There is a healthy competition for places at Arsenal now and that drives on the team. Players are coming back from injury – such as Giroud – or a spell out of the team wanting to prove that the side can do even better with them playing. In the past players might not have come back with the same focus but that’s not happening now. It suggests Wenger is getting things right in terms of the spirit and mood of the players.”
Arsenal are certainly the form team going into the clash, while home advantage and Tottenham’s injury problems will ensure they are heavy favourites to collect all three points.