Ahead of the North London Derby this Saturday, we look at three key match ups:
Bale v Sagna – The most talked about player in the Premiership at the moment but is it fair to question Gareth Bale’s league form compared to his form in Europe this season? Is he saving himself for bigger games and the shop window? Is it simply a case of after the Lord Mayor’s Show some weeks? Bacary Sagna, fresh from his rare goal last weekend and helping humiliate England on Wednesday night, will have a tough job keeping Bale quiet but other teams have managed it this season, namely by doubling up on the wide man and pushing him on his right foot.
Fabregas, Wilshere and Song v Huddlestone and Modric – As with nearly every single big match, whoever controls the middle of the pitch, controls the game. If Arsenal line up with this midfield, with all its creativity, movement and guile will it be too much for Spurs? Or can Huddlestone and Modric – as they have done so far this season – shackle Arsenal’s creative hub and feed their own front men and wingers?
The Arsenal Goalkeeper (whoever it is) v The Spurs Frontline (whoever that is) – Massive area of contention this one. Fabianski has been in inspired form of late but is still prone to the odd howler and dip in concentration. Can he handle Bale’s crosses, aimed at Crouch and Pavlyuchenko? He’s a good shot stopper but with Van Der Vaart lethal finishing (and possibly Defoe’s) can he keep out Spurs’ effervescent and confident strikeforce?
Arsenal, by virtue of being second in the league and being at home, start as favourites. But if Spurs and in particular Gareth Bale can replicate their European form then it could be a classic. Get set for a high tempo, high tempered, high quality affair. We hope its chances galore but we’ll wait and see.
Scoreline Prediction: Arsenal 2-2 Spurs
This from our sister brother by another mother site, Harry Hotspur.
An impassioned and dare we say thoughtfully written piece that may cause some Tottenham fans to at least consider the unthinkable – leaving The Lane.
‘I began yesterday by referring to this whole affair as a fiasco.
And after dwelling on the matter I’ve confirmed it to myself. The whole idea of ‘relocating’ and staying where you are defies sanity. It is (to quote Chief Wiggum, or was it George Bush Jnr – I watch so many cartoons – I forget) unpossible.’
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