Tottenham Hotspur-Arsenal Preview
With the first leg of the always highly anticipated North London derby about to be staged at the Emirates, host Arsenal should feel good about things considering their Premier League history there versus rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal look to continue that home success over Spurs when the teams get together on Sunday.
Arsenal (2-0-1) have won two straight at home in this massively entertaining series, and are 15-10-2 against Spurs at the Emirates during the Premier League era. Tottenham (1-1-1) last won at Arsenal in November 2010, and are somewhat scuffling into this matchup.
Spurs have followed a solid 3-1 season-opening win over newcomers Aston Villa by earning a VAR-aided 2-2 draw at Manchester City and suffering a shock 1-0 home loss to Newcastle United last week. With Tottenham seemingly in a fragile state, Arsenal should feel like they have a quality chance to extend their strong home form in the derby whilst trying to bounce back from a 3-1 loss at Liverpool.
"Against Tottenham, it's a derby with our supporters at home and we want to be able to have a special day with them," manager Unai Emery told Arsenal's official website. "Above all, we need to play each ball, each metre, each minute with that intensity. "I think it's a very, very big challenge for us, and it's a very, very good moment, a good match. The possibility of winning against them on Sunday gives a chance for good success."
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had two goals with an assist and Alexandre Lacazette also scored in Arsenal's 4-2 home win over Spurs last season.
Tottenham star Harry Kane, who scored in that game, has nine goals in nine Premier League matches against the Gunners. Kane, though, has gone goalless since recording a brace in the opener versus Villa.
Getting Kane going and finding some offense in general after being blanked by Newcastle is of great priority for Mauricio Pochettino's side. He's confident they've moved on and are ready for the challenge that awaits.
"The commitment of the players is always there," the gaffer told Spurs' official website. "It's been a very good week, talking, training. Everything was positive in the way we've prepared for the game. And now we need to deliver on Sunday."
Though these rivals are off in relatively different starts to the 2019-20 Premier League campaign, Pochettino is trying to not make too much of things in terms of what to expect from either side during a game like this that's usually packed with intensity and emotion.
"It's only the beginning of the season," he said. "It's difficult to judge. After a few months, we'll have a clearer idea (of what teams in the league are like). It will be tough because it's a derby, and we all know very well what a derby means. We need to be ready to fight."
Spurs will fight the fight without right-back Kyle Walker Peters (hamstring) and could be minus Eric Dier, who is dealing with a hip issue.
Meanwhile, at Arsenal, it's possible veteran Mesut Ozil could feature for the first time on the young season.
Updated August 30, 2019