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Tottenham Hotspur's striker Son Heung-Min (right) of South Korean and Harry Kane of England will hope to be on target tomorrow against Arsenal. Image Credit: AFP

It looks like the English Premier League’s fixture computer has gone into overdrive. This weekend it has thrown up not just one derby but three. The action gets under way early tomorrow in North London when Arsenal and Tottenham collide at the Emirates Stadium. Then on Sunday Manchester City will clash with Manchester United and then on Monday night Leicester City host Nottingham Forest. It is set to be a feast of thrilling action over the next few days for football lovers.

Fans anticipate derby days because there are sweet bragging rights at stake. But Arsenal and Tottenham will be fighting for much more than that because this season they are serious contenders for the title.

As top-flight action returns following the international break, the Gunners sit at the top of the table after a very strong start to the season while unbeaten Tottenham are just one point behind in third place. Sandwiched between them are Manchester City.

Gunners firing

If a title challenger was expected to emerge from either end of the Seven Sisters Road, you would probably say Tottenham were the more likely candidates as they snatched a top-four finish from their bitter rivals in dramatic fashion last term. However, the Gunners have come out firing on all cylinders this season and have won 6 of their 7 games. They have been revitalised by the signings of striker Gabriel Jesus and wing back Oleksandr Zinchenko from City, while Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli can change a game with a flash of brilliance.

Neutral supporters can find derbies a bit of a bore as they often descend into a tribal stalemate but the Arsenal-Tottenham matches are different. You are guaranteed goals in these games. Considering the ferocity and bitterness of these matches they still provide a steady stream of goal mouth action, penalties and red cards. Without a doubt it is one of the best derbies in English football.

In fact, these two teams - who have met 60 times in the Premier League – played out the highest-scoring derby in 2004 when the Gunners won 5-4 at White Hart Lane. This fixture has the highest ratio of goals per game at 2.85 and is followed by the Manchester derby which has 2.76 goals per games and then the North East derby between Newcastle and Sunderland which has 2.5. In those 60 matches 171 goals have been scored. The next highest is the Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool which has seen 138 goals in 61 matches.

But when Mikel Arteta’s Gunners welcome Antonio Conte’s Spurs to the Emirates both coaches know a win could be pivotal. If Spurs win they can leapfrog their neighbours and take top spot in the table. That might be a tall order though as they have only won 2 of their past 37 league fixtures away to Arsenal (D14, L21), with those victories coming in 1993 and 2010.

Domineering outfit

The Gunners have been almost embarrassingly dominant in this fixture for a sustained period of time. When Arsene Wenger was in charge he had evolved the team into a domineering outfit and Tottenham only registered one win between 1996 and 2007. Back then the Gunners had some of the world’s best footballers playing for them and as a result the team consistently competed for the highest honours. Spurs, at the turn of the 21st century, were just a mediocre outfit content with making up the numbers.

Things have changed drastically now though with both clubs looking to mount a serious title charge. They are both laden with quality in every position on the pitch and this latest North London derby might just be the best one yet. Arsenal will need to find a way to keep long-time nemesis Harry Kane quiet. The England striker loves these games and in 17 of them he has found the back of the net 13 times. He is one short of becoming the first player to score 100 Premier League away goals but Spurs have threats elswhere in the shape of Brazilian Richarlison and South Korean Son Heung-Min while Arsenal’s Jesus will be keen to extend his brilliant scoring run for his new club.

If this ends 0-0 I’ll eat my hat.