Dubai: Tottenham Hotspur will be seeking revenge against their bitter rivals and current English Premier League leaders Arsenal in the 193rd instalment of the North London derby on Sunday.
Earlier this season Mikel Arteta’s Gunners ran out convincing 3-1 winners over Antonio Conte’s Spurs at the Emirates Stadium but the Lilywhites have a decent recent derby record on home soil. They have won all three North London derbies at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and would love nothing more than to derail their adversaries’ title ambitions.
Spurs sit in fifth spot in the table and are fighting an uphill battle to make it back-to-back seasons in the Champions League.
They thumped Crystal Palace 4-0 in their last league match at Selhurst Park but three of their last four league contests at home have ended in defeat.
However, they have not failed to score against Arsenal since November 2017 and will feel Harry Kane and Song Heung-Min can pose a threat. Captain Kane is one goal short of equalling Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham’s leading scorer with 266 goals for the club. He is also two shy of 200 Premier League goals and is aiming to become the third player to reach that milestone after Wayne Rooney and Alan Shearer.
Tottenham have Swedish attacker Dejan Kulusevski back in training after a muscular problem and should start in place of Bryan Gil but they will be missing Richarlison and Lucas Moura.
Arsenal were held to 0-0 draw by Newcastle in their last league match and saw their lead at the top of the table cut by champions Manchester City. But they are unbeaten in their last 11 games and have recorded five wins from their last six on the road.
In the absence of Gabriel Jesus Arteta will once again count on Eddie Nketiah who has five goals in his last five games. They will also be without Reiss Nelson but will be boosted by the return of Emile Smith Rowe.
There could be as much drama in the technical areas as the pitch itself what with Conte and Arteta, both known for their histrionics, out there.
It’s a derby and will be played at a furious pace with plenty of tough tackles but the Gunners, seeking their first league title since 2004, have enough quality to pass another title test with flying colours.