It’s derby day in north London on Sunday and this one has all the ingredients to be one of the most high-profile derbies in a long time, given how well Arsenal and Spurs have fared in the league this season.
The hosts are fifth in the league, three points shy of third-placed Tottenham.
Laurent Koscielny could make his first appearance for the Gunners since May after injury. Danny Welbeck and Nacho Monreal will be missing though as they remain on the treatment table.
Mauricio Pochettino has the entire squad fit apart from Moussa Dembele, Davinson Sanchez and Victor Wanyama.
We take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the north London derby.
EMERY’S OPPORTUNITY TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF
Unai Emery can boast of an impressive start to his career at Arsenal after stamping an 11-match unbeaten run which included an eight-game winning streak.
However, the fact remains that the Gunners are yet to defeat a top six team, having faced three of them so far. Arsenal succumbed to defeat against fellow London neighbours Chelsea and champions Manchester City at the beginning of the season and shared the spoils with Liverpool last month.
A victory against an in-form Tottenham – who hammered Chelsea and edged past Inter Milan in a span of four days – could make a strong case for Emery’s status as a top manager in the Premier League.
A win in the derby will see Arsenal draw level with their local rivals and help them gain status as genuine title contenders.
SPURS’ ATTACKING QUARTET ON SONG
The fearsome attacking quartet of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane started together for the first time this season last week against Chelsea, and to devastating effect.
Spurs absolutely dismantled their rivals after a fine show by each of these players who were all involved in at least one goal and will be looking to repeat their performance in the derby.
Eriksen is one of the best creators in the Premier League and can conjure a lot of problems for the shaky Arsenal defence.
Alli has had a mixed bag in the league so far but was pivotal in Chelsea’s demolition. Son can be dangerous on the counter as evidenced by his sublime goal against the Blues, which followed an impressive dribble by the South Korean after a quick transition.
One of the best strikers in the world, Kane has built on his successful World Cup and bagged seven goals this season, recovering after a poor start. The Englishman was on target in the derby against Chelsea and will be looking to hurt his north London neighbours.
OZIL NEEDS THIS FIXTURE, THIS FIXTURE NEEDS OZIL
Mesut Ozil may have scored three goals and provided one this season but the German has not had the best run after being handed the number 10 jersey.
The 30-year-old has been shut out by teams such as Cardiff and Crystal Palace quite comfortably and has been pretty average in the remaining fixtures – sans the tie against Leicester City.
The absence of Dembele means Ozil will be handed an advantage in the midfield battle and hence a chance to drop a masterclass and re-establish himself as one of the league’s best attacking midfielders.
Should Emery decide to rest Alexander Lacazette – who is just back from an injury – Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will be deployed as a number nine and the creative burden will fall completely on the German schemer.
His performance will be key in determining the outcome of the derby.
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