In the wake of a 1-0 loss to West Ham at the Boleyn Ground yesterday and with a huge match upcoming against Arsenal, a smattering of good news emerged yesterday afternoon. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger announced that starting keeper Petr Cech and first choice defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the North London Derby with injuries.
Cech appeared to injure his hamstring in Arsenal's 2-1 home loss to Swansea yesterday, though Wenger indicated that he was hurting before the match as well.
"Petr Cech struggled. He had a groin problem before the game, and he struggled on a little bit tonight. He will not play on Saturday.
"It's a muscular problem, a calf problem. I don't know how long he will be out."
The Gunners are banged up at the moment, with Cech and Koscielny joining Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, and Tomas Rosicky on the sidelines. This provides an opportunity for Tottenham, who are hoping to have starting midfielder Mousa Dembele fit and healthy enough to play against the Gooners on Saturday
Injuries are terrible, and in a perfect world I'd much rather Spurs go up against (and beat) a fully healthy Arsenal side in a derby like this one with title implications. But there's no question that this will help Spurs this weekend. With Kos and Cech out, Arsenal are likely to feature a central defense pairing of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel Paulista ahead of David Ospina. Ospina is a very capable keeper in his own right, but I'm already salivating about Son Heung-Min, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Harry Kane attacking a Paulista-Mertesacker defense. Get Moose back into midfield and I'm suddenly feeling, dare I say, confident about playing Arsenal. And that's pretty dang scary in its own right.