MX23RW : Monday, September 2 18:46:46| >> :60:330:330:
Sep 1, 2019 at 4.30pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium
SpursTottenham Hotspur
Lacazette (45'), Aubameyang (71')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Eriksen (10'), Kane (40' pen.)

Preview: Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Sunday's Premier League fixture between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

Arsenal play host to Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby looking to establish a five-point advantage over their fierce rivals in the Premier League standings.

While the Gunners lost out to Liverpool at Anfield last weekend, Spurs head into Sunday's fixture having suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Newcastle United.


Unai Emery watches on during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Arsenal on August 24, 2019© Reuters

Losing out in a relatively high-scoring game against Liverpool produced comments of 'same old Arsenal', something which is arguably justified by the questionable defending of David Luiz for one of Mohamed Salah's two goals.

However, having previously ground out wins against Newcastle United and Burnley, it is far too early for the Gunners to be written off at the top of the table.

Unlike some of the other contenders, Unai Emery has had to deal with easing his new arrivals into action, with the encounter on Merseyside representing the first time that each of Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe had all started in the same team.

Although there were as many negatives as there were positives, time will be required for each of the trio to fully bed into life at the Emirates Stadium.

Nevertheless, a home derby showdown with the club's biggest enemies is the perfect occasion for them to show why they have been brought to the club, especially in the case of Pepe given the investment which has been made in the Ivory Coast international.

Emery needs to find the right balance with regards to the winger, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, aware that the supporters will want to see all three playing in tandem.

Whether that is possible in the long term remains to be seen, although few would criticise the Spaniard if he opted to go with a gung-ho style against opponents who have issues at the back.

There will be caution at the other end, despite none of Spurs' attacking players showing much form in the final third, but Emery and his players have the opportunity to deliver a statement performance early in the title race, and this is the perfect platform to do just that.

Recent form: WWL

Tottenham Hotspur

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino pictured on August 10, 2019© Reuters

After reaching the Champions League final and significantly improving his squad over the summer, life at Spurs was supposed to get easier for Mauricio Pochettino as he looks to close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool.

However, the Argentine will rightly be worried about the current performances of his team, who are fortunate to have four points on the board from matches against Aston Villa, City and Newcastle.

Having come through what would have been perceived to be the tougher two fixtures having avoided defeat, Pochettino would have expected his side to deliver another win against a Newcastle outfit who had offered very little in meetings against Arsenal and Norwich City.

Spurs continued to look devoid of ideas in the final third, however, and it highlighted the importance of keeping Christian Eriksen at the club at least until the end of his contract.

Chairman Daniel Levy is naturally open to cashing in on the Denmark international, but losing the playmaker at this stage could prove more costly on the pitch than it would if he departs on a free transfer next summer.

While the 27-year-old has only started one of the first three matches, Pochettino may feel obliged to recall him for a fixture of this magnitude, aware of the criticism which will follow if Spurs suffer another setback without one of their key men in the team.

The same applies with Jan Vertonghen as the Belgian continues to sit out of the starting lineup, but injuries elsewhere may lead to Pochettino handing the long-serving defender a chance in what feels like a sink-or-swim scenario.

Depending on how Liverpool fare against Burnley, Spurs face the possibility of being eight points from top spot with defeat at the Emirates Stadium, a gap which would feel too big even having played just four games from 38.

Recent form: WDL

Team News

Kyle Walker-Peters in action for Spurs on July 31, 2018© Reuters

The hamstring injury sustained by Kyle Walker-Peters may force Pochettino to play three at the back, potentially leading to Vertonghen coming in on the left-hand side.

That would allow Moussa Sissoko to be used at right wing-back, although the Frenchman may be required in midfield with Tanguy Ndombele failing to shake off a hamstring problem.

While Dele Alli is closing in on a return to action, it would be a surprise if the Englishman is thrown straight into the team, increasingly the chances of a recall for Eriksen.

While Emery has no fresh injury concerns, Nacho Monreal is unlikely to start as speculation persists regarding a transfer to Real Sociedad.

Lucas Torreira is expected to stay on the bench, despite his goal against Liverpool, while Lacazette should get the nod down the middle with Aubameyang moving out wide.

Arsenal possible starting lineup:
Leno; Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Luiz, Kolasinac; Guendouzi, Xhaka; Pepe, Ceballos, Aubameyang; Lacazette

Tottenham Hotspur possible starting lineup:
Lloris; Alderweireld, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Sissoko, Dier, Winks, Eriksen, Rose; Son, Kane

Head To Head

Sunday's match represents the 199th competitive clash between the two clubs, with Arsenal registering 82 wins in comparison to 64 victories for Spurs.

Since Arsenal recorded three successive triumphs during 2013 and 2014, a dozen matches have passed by since either team produced a dominant spell in this fixture.

Arsenal prevailed by a 4-2 scoreline in this game last season, although Spurs got their revenge with success in the EFL Cup 17 days later.

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We say: Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Despite this game being just the fourth of the season, the stakes already feel high, and that plays into the hands of Arsenal. Aside from a 20-minute spell against Aston Villa, Spurs have under-performed during the early weeks, and Arsenal will be ready to capitalise if that continues on Sunday.

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Who will win Sunday's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur?

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Unai Emery watches on during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Arsenal on August 24, 2019
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