North. London. Derby. The first EPL North London Derby of the season is here, and the stakes could not be any higher. A win for Arsenal could launch the team into first place, while a win for Tottenham will move the team into fifth place, just a point outside of the top 4. Spurs are in great league form, undefeated in their last ten matches while tallying five wins. The key to the turnaround has been a resurgence of the Tottenham attack, as the likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Mousa Dembele and Erik Lamela have been scoring and creating goals. The question will be if Tottenham can hold up in their toughest road game since Manchester United...which just so happened to be Spurs' last league loss.
The trip across North London takes Spurs to the Emirates, where Arsenal sits in second place, even on points with leading Manchester City. The Gunners are a team in a strange place. On the one hand they have tallied five straight league wins, looking vicious in the process. But Arsenal has been beset by injuries (Bellerin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Ramsey, and Wilshire), and a midweek destruction against Bayern Munich in the Champions League will not boost confidence ahead of the North London Derby. With all of those attacking injuries, the onus will be on Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, and Olivier Giroud to tally the goals.
Who will come out on top in the first league North London Derby of the season? We shall see.
How to Watch
Date/time: Sunday, November 8, 4:00 p.m. (UK), 11:00 a.m. ET (USA)
Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, UK
Official: Martin Atkinson
TV: NBCSN (USA), Sky Sports 1 (UK), TSN4 (Canada), Fox Sports 4 (Australia), other listings at livesoccertv.com
Streaming: NBCS Live Extra (USA)
Radio: Audio streamed at tottenhamhotspur.com, also BBC Radio London and TalkSport
A big question has arisen for Mauricio Pochettino in selecting his starting lineup for Arsenal. The midfield of Dier, Alli, Dembele, Lamela, and Eriksen have played great and built stability in recent matches. But star midfielder Son Heun-Min just returned from injury and featured Thursday against Anderlecht. The CFC team believes it's more likely that Son starts on the bench than starts, but it may be a nearly 50/50 proposition. If Son does start, look for him to either start over Erik Lamela on the wing, or replace Dele Alli, with Dembele moving to central midfield.
As for the Prediction League, Ed was the only one to drop a perfect prediction for the Aston Villa match, bringing him closer to the lead. The rules remain the same in the Prediction League -- one point for a correct prediction and a bonus point for getting the score correct. Here are the current standings:
|Earl of Shoop||3|
Michael Caley: I want to be wrong. I think this ends up kind of boring, not too bad, and ultimately depressing. 1-0 Arsenal
Bryan A.: Spurs current record (in the league) against teams in the top four is 1-1-1. So, there's no conclusions we can draw from that. I really don't know. Both teams are in good form. This is a local derby. Etc. Etc. No one has any freaking clue. So... Spurs 4-1
GN_Punk: If this was Arsenal at full strength, I think they mow us down even with how well we're playing. But, that's not the case. Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Ramsey are all out along with a whole host of others. Alexis still scares the hell out of me and is probably good for a goal, given that Ozil is rolling. However, we're playing some fine football at the moment and we haven't lost in the league since the very first week. I think we can steal this one. 2-1 Spurs
Mechanick: This game is so hard to figure. But I am not sure that Arsenal's heads are in the right place after this onslaught of injuries and a terrible midweek loss. Eriksen gets the goal, and Vertonghen and Alderweireld but in an epic performance. 1-0 Spurs
Ed F.: Absolutely no idea on this one. Arsenal at their best have been better than us this season, but they have deep injuries and we're now firmly in form. It's almost unfathomable that this would happen, but I'm calling a 1-1 Draw
Skipjack: 2-2 Draw, because we're probably going to piss something away.
Dustin Menno: Oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God. I think we can do ‘em. 2-1 Spurs. /breathes into paper bag
Brett Rainbow: I know Arsenal are playing really well but I can't bet against us in the form we're in. I just can't. 3-2 Spurs.
Ben Daniels: Joel Campbell will score early just to spite me for continually mocking him. But Spurs will still take it 2-1. 2-1 Spurs
55thVin: Mousa Dembele is going to embarrass Coquelin so bad--again--that he will be sentenced to a transfer to QPR by catapult. 2-1 Spurs
Earl of Shoop: I'm watching this NLD live with actual Spurs fans for the first time in forever, and I know Tottenham wouldn't have me drive 20 minutes just to disappoint me. Plus it's Arsenal and as always I struggle to figure out how they're actually good. I mean, I see the numbers, I see the results, I know they have some standout players but.... how? Anyway we're winning this one. 3-1 Spurs
Luke Zimmerman: I want this one in the worst of ways but my Arsenal gunshyness (uh, no pun intended) is at an all-time high. I reckon Spurs will be the better team but Arsenal gets by on some bullshit. 1-0 Arsenal
Matthew Pachniuk: Statement game for Spurs. I think we are good at football. A late goal by Kane. Sound familiar? 2-1 Spurs.
Jake Meador: 2-2 Draw. NLD's often have plenty of goals. My guess is Alexis gets a worldy that is like 0.1 ExpG, Giroud gets another for them, but we fight back with goals from Kane and a set piece goal from Eriksen.
Salmon Chase: TBD