The North London Derby is here. Arsenal make the short trip across town to take on Tottenham Hotspur in the most consequential meeting between the two rivals in years. If Arsenal win, they’re in the Champions League next season and are guaranteed to finish above Spurs for the first time in five years. If they draw, Arsenal are overwhelming favorites to finish 4th. If Spurs win, the Gunners need to win out to make the CL.
The Gunners bested Spurs 3-1 at the Emirates in September, but both clubs are virtually unrecognizable from the squads that met early in the season. Spurs now have Antonio Conte at the helm, have switched formations to a 3-4-3 (which has been quite effective for them), have added Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur who have both been regular and significant contributors, and have Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min playing at the absolute top of their game.
Arsenal have also come a long way since September. changing formations, personnel, and the atmosphere around the team. Will that be enough? The Gunners have won just 5 of 29 away matches to Spurs in the Premier Leagueand the environment at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (c’mon y’all, get a better name) will be electric and hostile.
In a massive rivalry game with stakes as high as today’s, there’s a good chance that you can throw all your pre-match stats and analysis out the window. Derbies are chaotic and rarely go according to plan. That’s part of their beauty.
I’ve seen Spurs supporters who are confident about their chances today and ones that are convinced Tottenham are going to bottle it. And I’ve talked to Gooners who feel both ways, as well. Personally, I’m hopeful / confident that Arsenal will get a result, but the two clubs are about as even as two clubs could be. Spurs are arguably in slightly better form at the moment, but a draw suits Arsenal just fine, which may give them a tactical advantage. It really could go either way.
There’s a bit of concern out of the Arsenal camp on the injury front. In his pre-match press conference, Mikel Arteta said that both Ben White and Bukaya Saka were questionable for today’s match. My gut tells me that’s just gamesmanship. Earlier in the week, reports suggested White was likely to be available. Saka has been dealing with a small knock/muscle issue for the past few weeks and hasn’t missed any matches. Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney are, as we’ve known, out for the season.
UPDATE: Ben White and Bukayo Saka are both fit and in the squad by Charles Watts.
Spurs have no new injuries coming into today’s match. Sergio Reguilon, Oliver Skipp, Matt Doherty, and Japhet Tanganga are all out.
UPDATE: Cuti Romero is a late miss for Spurs. Davinson Sanchez replaces him in the lineup.
Arsenal- Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Cedric, Xhaka, Elneny, Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli, Nketiah
Tottenham – Lloris, Royal, Sanchez, Dier, Davies, Sessegnon, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Kulusevski, Son, Kane
QUE: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur
WHERE: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
WHEN: Thursday, May 12th 11:45 am PT | 2:45 p.m. ET | 7:45 p.m.BT
USTV: USA and UNIVERSE. Stream on fuboTV.
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