PREVIEW: Can Arsenal muster any more than a draw against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane?

Tottenham v Arsenal

Theo Walcott v Tottenham FA Cup

Arsenal face another vital test of their credentials when they visit White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon. The Gunners have already beaten Spurs twice this season; 1-0 in the league fixture and 2-0 in the FA Cup meeting,both on home territory.

THE OPPOSITION

Tottenham face Arsenal coming off the receiving end of two heavy defeats, 4-0 away to Chelsea last weekend and 3-1 at home to Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday.

Tottenham’s last victory over Arsenal dates back to March last year when they ran out 2-1 winners at White Hart Lane that put Spurs seven points ahead of Arsenal and on course to finish fourth. However, as we all know, Arsenal managed to catch them up and stun them to finish in the last Champions League spot on the final day of last season.

Spurs have a decent home record against their fellow North London neighbours, with their last defeat dating back to September 2010. So they know how to raise their game against the big sides.

Spurs’ most eye-catching player in some account of decent form is Christian Eriksen. The Dane has caught the eye since the turn of the year, really proving critics wrong with some exceptional displays. A defeat here for Spurs would see them slip nine points behind Arsenal and beaten in five of their last seven games in all competitions.

Arsenal vs Spurs

THE GUNNERS

Arsenal face Tottenham after a quite frustrating night in Munich against Bayern on Tuesday. The most focal point on the evening would be the injury sustained by Mesut Özil,Which will keep him out for three to six weeks with a tight hamstring.

It was a disappointing evening killed by the referee in the first leg with the red card, but there were still a majority of positives to take away from this. The solidity at the back was maintained (bar the goal conceded), and Lukasz Fabianski’s penalty save was another good thing which we took from this draw.

Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane having tasted defeat the last time they took to the road in the Premier League. The 1-0 defeat to Stoke at the Britannia looked as if it may be the turning point in Arsenal’s season, with the chance of tasting silverware slipping away. However, Arsenal responded by marching into the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and this weekend may be a crucial match in this ever-exciting season,well in terms of morale anyway. A win would certainly put a gleaming smile back amongst Arsenal faces.

TEAM NEWS

Injuries are overshadowing this vital game between two sides having very different campaigns. Younes Kaboul is available after his red card appeal was overturned by the FA but Michael Dawson and Kyle Walker are both set to miss out with respective hamstring and pelvic problems.

For Arsenal, Mesut Özil will miss it with a damaged hamstring problem while Aaron Ramsey’s return has been delayed after suffering a minor setback. Nacho Monreal is expected to be fit as is Yaya Sanogo, while Kim Källström is expected to be available for his debut after finally recovering from a back problem.

Kim Kallstrom 01

PREDICTION

I would expect a fast-paced and passionate game of high intensity football between two clubs attempting to claim a stake in the top four. Tottenham 1-1 Arsenal.

Alex Burns


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