Thursday night’s 3-0 Europa League victory against Vorskla extended our unbeaten streak to 18 games. Despite a last-minute change of venue and minus 12-degree temperatures, the youngsters (especially Emile Smith Rowe) put in a mature performance and secured top spot in our group. Even with our impressive unbeaten record, the form is with Spurs going into Emery’s first North London Derby. Our North London rivals battered Chelsea 3-1 last week at Wembley, with Christian Ericksen and Son Heung-min putting on a clinic. The Dane in particular has Spurs purring again and will be the biggest threat on Sunday.
Even though the form is with Spurs, I am confident we can grab the three points. I have seen enough derbies to know that form goes out of the window and it usually comes down to which group of players want it more. Mauricio Pochettino got his tactics spot on against Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, but the Chelsea players just weren’t competitive enough on the day. For example, David Luiz and Jorginho made it far too easy for Son to ghost into the box and make it 3-1. However, you set up your team, it’s vital that there are no passengers and that every individual is competitive.
That is exactly why I am confident because I don’t think we will be as flaky!
Emery has strung together an 18-match unbeaten run by making us more competitive and responding decisively during games where things aren’t going well. Yes, our first half performances haven’t been amazing, but we have manged to stay in games, giving players like Lacazette and Aubameyang to be our matchwinners. Emery will set us up to ensure we don’t make it as easy and with the tenacious Lucas Torreira, he has the right kind of player to set that tone.
With Lacazette coming back, Mesut Ozil rested and home advantage, I’m hoping we have enough to put Spurs on the back foot. Xhaka and Torreira are going to have to be as good or better than they were against Liverpool.
Prediction: My head says score draw, but my heart says Lucas Torreira is going to put in a man of the match performance and lead us to victory.
Arsenal 2 – 1 Tottenham
Come on Arsenal!!
P.s. I would feel more confident if Nacho was fit.