On the 17th November, the North London derby will once again ensue with the Gunners and the Lilywhites clashing at the Emirates Stadium. The last time these two teams met at the Emirates was back in February, when Arsenal romped to a 5-2 victory after falling 2-0 behind to Spurs. Earlier in that same season, Spurs had claimed a 2-1 victory over their rivals at White Hart Lane. The upcoming fixture in November is a tantalising clash, and a very difficult game to predict.
With Tottenham’s emphatic 3-2 win at Old Trafford over Manchester United back in September, claiming the scalp of another quality team away from home will be a top priority – even more so after the visit of Chelsea to White Hart Lane ended in a 4-2 defeat for the Lilywhites. More recently, Spurs have looked suspect, with a 2-1 loss to Norwich in the Capital One Cup and a 1-1 draw at NK Maribor in the Europa League. Newly-promoted Southampton put immense pressure on Spurs in a recent Premier League fixture, and Tottenham should count themselves lucky to come away with a 2-1 win and the three points from St. Mary's. The 1-0 loss at home to Wigan most recently also throws more pressure onto Spurs leading up to their clash with the Gunners.
Arsenal have endured a similar dip in form, after claiming an admirable 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium against Premier League champions Manchester City, the Gunners were defeated 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium by London rivals Chelsea. Since then in the league, the Gunners lost 1-0 at Carrow Road to Norwich, and then squeezed a 1-0 victory at home to Queens Park Rangers. Things have not been much better in other competitions, as the recent visit of Schalke to the Emirates in the Champions League resulted in a 2-0 loss for the Gunners, and in the Capital One Cup they found themselves 4-1 down at half time at the Madejski Stadium to lowly Reading after a woeful first-half performance, only to come back and win the game 7-5 in extra time. Arsene Wenger’s men also looked unimaginative and barely posed a threat in their 2-1 defeat by Manchester United, where the score line certainly flattered them.
So with both teams starting the season brightly but currently experiencing a dip in form, this particular North London derby clash is more important than ever, and will have a big effect on each team going into the next batch of fixtures for the season. The midfield will be the most crucial part of the battlefield to control, with Spurs boasting the likes of Moussa Dembele, Clint Dempsey, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon amongst their ranks, while Arsenal can certainly offer a reply in form of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta. Whichever team is 'king of the hill' in the middle of the park will go on to be victorious in this tantalising fixture.
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