The 186th North London Derby sees Arsenal host arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates on Sunday. Arsenal are looking to replicate last season’s 4-2 performance while Spurs are looking to end a dreadful run away to the Gunners. Here are the Three Keys to this clash. Bet on the Premier League here.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang v Harry Kane
Aubameyang scored 22 Premier League goals last season. The Gabon international has been in terrific form since he came to Arsenal in January 2018. In 52 league matches, he’s scored 34 goals including twice already this season. Moreover, the 30-year-old striker starred in last season’s fixture at the Emirates where he scored a brace in an impressive 4-2 win over Spurs. He’ll surely be the danger man on Sunday and the visitors’ defence will have to be ready to cope.
Harry Kane, winner of the league’s Golden Boot twice, has scored nine goals in ten appearances against the Gunners, and will therefore carry most of his team’s goal scoring burden. An injury-plagued season last campaign still saw him score a respectable 17 goals. Arsenal’s defence was torn apart by Liverpool’s attack last weekend and cannot afford to produce a performance like that against Kane and company. If he scores on Sunday, he will go level with Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith’s all-time shared record of 10 North London Derby goals.
Brilliant home form v Woeful away record
Arsenal’s campaign last season was aided by their terrific home record. They won 14 home matches, a record only bettered by Liverpool and Manchester City. Spurs have only won once away at Arsenal in their last 26 visits. Since Unai Emery took over, the Gunners have looked quite strong at home. The Gunners have also been beaten only twice in 27 meetings on home soil during the Premier League era against their arch-rivals.
Spurs have endured a rough couple of months. In 15 league matches, Spurs have won just four. They’ve also lost six of their last seven games away from home. This season, they’ve looked tired and uninspiring. In their loss against Newcastle last Sunday, they had more possession than any team has managed in a league game this season, the most completed passes and crosses too, but they still couldn’t get past a team which had lost their two opening matches. Mauricio Pochettino’s men will have to do better at the Emirates.
Nicolas Pepe v Tanguy Ndombele. Who will have more impact?
Ivory Coast international and Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe showed glimpses of what we should expect from him this season in the 3-1 loss at Anfield last weekend. He was a thorn in Liverpool’s defence on Sunday in the first half. In fact, he became the first player to dribble past Virgil Van Dijk in 50 Premier League games. The Ivorian winger made a name for himself as an attacking star in Ligue 1 with Lille, scoring 22 goals and recording 11 assists. Therefore, on Sunday, most of the Gunners’ chances should come from the right-wing.
French international Tanguy Ndombele made an instant impact on his Premier League debut against Aston Villa, scoring a vital equaliser from range. His box to box abilities is what the Spurs midfield has been missing since the departure of Moussa Dembele.
His pace, physical presence, tackling, combined with dribbling and close control, brings a different dimension to Spurs game. If they’re going to get anything from the game, he will be crucial.