The final Premier League game before the international break is set to be an absolute firecracker, as Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in the first north London derby of the season. Both teams come into this game having suffered defeats last time out, with Arsenal losing away at Anfield last Saturday while Newcastle upset Spurs at their home last time out.
Despite a disappointing defeat last time out, Arsenal can go into the season’s first international break on a high if they are able to take three points this Sunday. Unai Emery’s team were ruthlessly shown the gulf between themselves and the serious title challengers as they lost 3-1 to Liverpool, with a Joel Matip header and Mohamed Salah brace wrapping up the three points for the Merseysiders. However, they still sit third in the Premier League table with six points after winning their first two games against Newcastle United and Burnley, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang getting on the scoresheet in both outings. Arsenal will be full of confidence having won 11 of their last 13 home Premier League games, and have 20 wins in their last 25 at the Emirates.
Despite only being three games into the new Premier League season, some are already beginning to rule Tottenham Hotspur out of a potential title challenge. It’s been a far from convincing start to the season for Mauricio Pochettino’s team, who have taken just four points from their first three games. Their only victory was an unconvincing one at home to Aston Villa on the opening day of the campaign, before they then were somewhat fortunate to hold Manchester City to a 2-2 draw away from home. But their luck ran out last Sunday as they were left frustrated by Newcastle United, who came away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with a 1-0 win thanks to Joelinton’s first-half goal. There is no bigger game for Spurs to redeem themselves than the one coming on Sunday, with it the one ground that their supporters want them to win at more than any other in the world.
Arsenal have an excellent record at home in recent seasons in the Premier League, while Tottenham’s start to this season has been unconvincing to say the least.
The striker was in excellent form throughout pre-season and has brought that with him into the new campaign, scoring two goals in his first three outings. Aubameyang also netted a brace in this fixture last season, which Arsenal went on to win 4-2.
Arsenal have won each of the last two meetings between these sides at the Emirates Stadium.
Tottenham have scored in each of the last four north London derbies.
Tottenham’s last Premier League win at the Emirates Stadium came back in November 2010.
Full-backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are still not yet ready to return here, so Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac should deputise in defence. After getting his first start at Anfield, Nicolas Pepe should retain his place in the starting XI and Arsenal fans will be begging to see him start in a front three alongside Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tottenham could be boosted by the return of midfielder Dele Alli this weekend. The England international has missed the first three games of the season with a hamstring problem, but is now back in full training. However, there is not as much optimism regarding Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth or Ryan Sessegnon, who are all set to miss out through injury. Walker-Peters’ injury will likely see Eric Dier fill in at right-back, with Serge Aurier currently out of favour at Tottenham.