It is crunch time for Arsenal as they go into this tie on the back of very disappointing losses to firstly AC Milan in the Champions League and then Sunderland in the FA Cup. Both losses have virtually guaranteed that the gunners will yet again fail to secure any silverware this season and morale will certainly be down going into this highly anticipated North-London derby.
For the first time in a long time Tottenham are considered the team to beat in this fixture as they comfortably positioned 10 points ahead of the gunners in the Premier League table. While the gunners are considered the underdogs, a well-fought win could really get their campaign back on track as they tussle with rivals Chelsea for the all important Champions League spot.
There is some good news for the gunners though as Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs face a late fitness test before the match with both expected to pull through. On the other side of the coin though, Ramsey is expected to miss out with an ankle injury, with Coquelin and Squillaci also succumbing to injury in Arsenal’s recent game against Sunderland.
Looking at the Tottenham side there is bad news for the gunners as Harry Redknapp confirmed recently that key players Adebayor, Van der Vaart, Assou-Ekotto and Modric are all expected to be fit for the game after recently suffering from injury or illness. The men from White Hart Lane have had a successful spell against Arsenal in recent fixtures recording three wins and a draw in the last four matches.
It is imperative the gunners get all three points from this match, not only to maintain there place in fourth spot but also to regain some much needed confidence after heavy losses to both Sunderland and AC Milan.
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It is not the easiest task but that is part of our job.
You can’t complain – we are in a fantastic job and we have a big game in front of us. To feel sorry for ourselves would be criminal. We have a good opportunity to show that we have character, that we have the mental qualities to play for this Club and so let’s go for it.
We had disappointing results, especially in Milan.
The Sunderland game was a bit unfortunate for two reasons: we played three away games on difficult pitches and the game was positioned on an impossible day for us after coming back from Milan. We lost a game against a team with zero shots on target, we scored two own goals.
We were a bit unlucky because Sunderland played well but there was a 100 per cent penalty on Robin van Persie, things went against us but we won just one week before against Sunderland in the league.
In the championship we have drawn 0-0 at Bolton and beat Blackburn with a good score. Let’s continue our run. No matter what we say at the moment it will be printed in a negative way. So it is up to us to transform that in a positive way.
Arsenal – Robin van Persie – The Dutchman has been in fine form in recent weeks, most recently with a hat-trick against Blackburn. Expect more of the same from Arsenal’s talisman and captain.
Sunderland – Emmanuel Adebayor – The Togolese striker was once a mainstay in the Arsenal side, but now finds himself on the other side of North-London. The front-man notched four assists and a goal against Newcastle recently and looks in devastating form.
Sagna Koscielny Vermaelen Gibbs
Chamberlain Rosicky Gervinho
Van Persie (c)
Arsenal to win:
Bet365, Skybet & William Hill are offering odds of 6/4 for the Gunners to win at the Emirates.
Bet365 & Paddypower are offering the best odds at 12/5
Tottenham to win:
Bet365 & Paddypower are offering odds of 7/4 for Spurs to win the North London derby.
allArsenal’s Special Bet:
allArsenal’s Special Bet: Arsenal to score the first goal after 25 minutes=13/5
In all three visits to the Emirates, Spurs under Harry Redknapp have found themselves two goals down at some stage, but have won one, drawn one and lost one of those games.
Arsenal’s average time for scoring their first goal at home is 39 minutes.
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