- IAubameyang v Harry Kane in The North London Derby
At 12.30 tomorrow one of the biggest Derby matches of the Premiership kicks off at Wembley. Spurs welcome biggest rivals Arsenal to make the short trip across North London for the second Derby of the season. Strikers Aubameyang and Kane are set go head to head for the first time.
With both teams clamouring for a top four spot, the much anticipated tie promises to be exciting. Spurs will be looking to cancel out the 2-0 defeat suffered at the Emirates in November, to level the score, and secure those crucial three points.
The Always Even Odds
As ever, previous form counts for little, with both teams coming into the tie off the back of recent victories.
Arsenal come armed with newest gunner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who they are looking to rival Harry Kane. Wenger will be anxious for his new man to continue his dangerous form. Particularly following the departure of both Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud. Both to Premiership rivals, Man Utd and Chelsea respectively.
He is still without the services of Petr Cech, Montreal is ruled out with illness, and Cazorla remains long term injured.
Mauricio Pochettino will be happy his previous injury problems are over. Defensive brick Toby Alderweireld has arrived back in to the Spurs defensive wall, easing the pressure on stalwart Jan Vertonghen.
Alderweireld speaks of ‘Quick’ Aubameyang
Alderweireld spoke of his anticipation at facing Aubameyang for the first time. He admitted the players will have to be very clever to stop the new Arsenal star. “Everybody knows he is quick and a good finisher. He has it all and is in a good moment. So it is going to difficult to beat them.”
Midweek also saw the return of Erik Lamela enjoying his first full start and excellent performance. Though the opponents were lower League Newport County, the Argentinian ace looked sharp following his long absence. Victor Wanyama, Danny Rose and Harry Winks are now also back, and Mousa Dembele rested. Pochettino is almost spoilt for choice with his first eleven.
Spurs Fans looking to see Moura Lucas!
Fans will also be hoping to see their newest addition, £22m winger Lucas Moura. Moura has yet to make his debut since his arrival from Paris St Germain. He has been pictured in full training, thus the Spurs boss ambiguously hinted he may indeed feature on Saturday.
Pochettino said; “He will be ready to be in contention for Saturday. He’s doing well, training hard, and he is starting to feel his legs.”
Arsene Wenger caused a media stir himself today by claiming to Mirror Sport that English players have now ‘mastered’ the art of diving. This is opposed to foreign players, as has previously been suggested in the media.
Wenger was likely taking a timely swipe at Pochettino’s remarks following the two controversial penalties awarded to Tottenham in last weekend’s crucial clash with Liverpool.
Pochettino: ”Try not to cheat, but trick the opponent in a good way.”
Mauricio Pochettino had defended Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who were both accused of diving and using ‘dark arts’ to gain the advantage.
The Argentinian had claimed that ‘football trickery’ is part of a player’s armoury. He was also quick to point out that Michael Owen had admitted to going down under ‘minimal contact’ from Pochettino himself. Giving David Beckham his redemption spot-kick for England to beat Argentina 1-0 in Sapporo.
Having taken the scalps of Manchester United, and battled hard against Liverpool, Spurs are the slight bookies favourite. Pochettino quickly dismissed this suggestion, answering: “There’s not a favourite. All my respect to Arsenal, in the Arsene Wenger era, only last year we finished above them.”
He added “Both teams have qualities. They’re powerful, and they can win games.”
There is no doubt that Spurs’ attendance will again break records for the sold out clash tomorrow at Wembley. The result important not just for each team’s confidence going forward and the usual grudge. The three points are crucial to both side’s top four ambitions.
Tottenham welcome Arsenal for the Premiership clash at Wembley, London. Kick-off 12.30p.m.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) February 9, 2018