It`s finally here boys and girls, the North London Derby! Arsenal take on their north London neighbours in one of the fixtures of the season in what is sure to be a clash of epic proportions.
Arsenal Team News:
Arsenal will be missing some important players for the derby. Henry (pain in the arse, seriously), Gallas (thigh), Senderos and Flamini are all injured. Long-term absentees Diaby and Lauren are still missing.
There is a slight chance that Cesc Fabregas will start on the bench because one more yellow would see him miss the derby with Chelsea next Sunday.
Player to watch: Alex Hleb
The return of Eboue will see the winger liberated once again. His tormenting runs with the ball could cause Spurs many-a-problem.
Tottenham Team News:
King has recovered from a virus in time to play, while Jenas has also recovered froma calf strain.
Stalteri (knee), Mido (groin)and Gardner (knee)all miss out along with the suspended Ghaly.
Player to watch: Lennon
The young winger will keep Clichy on his toes. He will look to make Clichy commit himself to challenges, something the young Frenchman has been doing a little too often of late.
Match Facts & Stats
-Tottenham have failed to win in their last 13 away north London Derby’s
-The form table over the last six games see’s Arsenal 5th from bottom while Spurs are flying in 4th
-Spurs have not lost to a London team this season (won 2, drawn 1)
-The tiny totts are yet to win away from home this season in the league although Arsenal`s home form is nothing to shout about.
-Draws with Aston Villa, Boro, Everton and Newcastle in the league has seen the Gunners title hopes fade away.
But as we all know, the NLD is about much more than three points. It`s about bragging rights, it`s about pride and it`s about passion (not that kind).
-If Arsenal win and Villa and Bolton fail to win then Arsenal will climb back up to fourth.
-Tottenham could however go above the Arsenal if they manage to win by seven goals (excuse my while I turn on the runway lights for my pigs?)
Graham poll takes control of the game, let’s hope the Herts man can have a better game than he did World Cup.
Vital Members have their say:
The now legendary FatOldDave: I have seen a lot of North London derbies, and the favourites have to be 1971, when we first won the title at the Lane, 1978, when Liam scored every Gooners favourite goal in a 5-0 win, and of course 2004, when we won the league there for the second time. In fact the Lane has been a happy hunting ground for us because we have won two League Cup semi-finals there too. Come to think of it, nearly all of the memorable wins have been there. At Highbury you tend to remember just the great goals more, Frank Stapleton, Charlie Nicholas, Dennis Bergkamp and Titi.
Obviously I hope we maintain our stranglehold over them on Saturday, but it would be great if the game is remembered for the right reasons, instead of a refereeing blunder or controversial goal. And after our recent run it would be terrific to see Thierry score his seventh goal against spurs!
I approached two Vital Spurs members but both chose not to comment…I wonder why!
Come on the Arsenal!