The North London Derby is all the more important for Tottenham Hotspur at this early stage of the season. A derby match is an important match for any team to win of course. And indeed, Arsenal will want to reclaim their recent slip on bragging rights. But, Spurs will want to maintain their dominance. And, they’ll want to improve on their pedestrian form that took root in the latter stages of last season.
North London Derby: Tottenham Hotspur Need Win to Boost Momentum
Both teams are looking to bounce back from disappointing defeats. Arsenal could not match Liverpool in what was a comfortable victory for the Merseyside team. But, with Liverpool one of the favourites for the title, they deserve a little more leeway. After all, Spurs stuttered and failed to perform against Newcastle. Thus, this heaps a little more pressure on the Lilywhites to make up for this off-colour performance.
If Spurs were off-colour, then Harry Kane was off the pace. Despite grabbing two goals in August already, he just hasn’t played to his full potential. Some glum critics may suggest that his recurrent ankle injuries are catching up with him. But, with this massive fixture comes another chance for Kane to galvanise himself.
Indeed, Kane loves playing in these derby matches. If he can score one more goal on Sunday, he’ll be the all-time top scorer in the North London Derby.
Arsenal have quite a list of injuries at the moment, but with their recent update all players are progressing in their recoveries. Rob Holding managed 90 minutes for the under 23’s side on Friday. Meanwhile, Emile Smith Rowe also played in this match and another on Tuesday. Fullbacks Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are both expected to return to training at some point in September. Young centre-back Dinos Mavropanos will similarly be aiming for a return in September.
Right Back an Issue for Spurs
Kyle Walker-Peters, Juan Foyth and Eric Dier could all miss the North London Derby. Dier is complaining of a hip problem and is the only player that might feature in this fixture. This is somewhat of a nightmare for Mauricio Pochettino, who failed to secure any senior replacement for Kieran Trippier in the summer.
According to the David Hytner of The Guardian, Pochettino will still not use senior right-back Serge Aurier. Instead, he is more likely field Moussa Sissoko. This is where the Frenchman first started to make his case as a key first-team player. However, this is likely to effect what midfield Spurs can field.
There have been some rather ridiculous rumours that Pochettino will walk away from the club if Spurs were to lose this vital match. He has been forced to come forward and dismiss such rumours in a press conference. After signing a new five-year contract, any notion of the manager choosing to leave the club is scandalous. And, of course, various betting companies were happy to take in money for these totally erroneous rumours.
Pochettino has been a fantastic servant to the club with over five years of service. He has achieved so much in developing the club and indeed getting into the Champions League final. Recently, he has come under some flak because his team haven’t been performing to the highest standards in the Premier League. However, he has made some additions to the squad in the summer and will look to integrate these players into his team.
Whilst this derby match is not one that either team can accept losing, it is still not potent enough to end a manager’s tenure and a club’s chances at winning trophies this season. Spurs and Arsenal both need to avoid accumulating any further losses. However, Tottenham will need that win even more to develop some momentum and dispel any bad feeling surrounding the club.