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Premier League 2019/20: Arsenal v Tottenham-three things that could decide the outcome of the game

James Alonge
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:19 IST

Arsenal vs Tottenham has always been a feisty derby.
Arsenal vs Tottenham has always been a feisty derby.

Arsenal welcome fierce North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in what promises to be a tantalising game for a variety of reasons

Both sides come into this game on the back of losses against Liverpool and Newcastle respectively, although the latter looks much more disappointing owing to the fact that it came at Tottenham's new home ground against a team they are expected to prevail over. Neither of the two teams would want to give anything away at this point before the international break which kicks in next week.

Secondly, the bragging right of who is the force to be reckoned with in the northern part of the city will be up for debate. Tottenham have finished above the Gunners for the past couple of years in the Premier League, having seen the red and white side of North London dominate during the Arsene Wenger reign. So it promises to be feisty encounter as always.

Let's take a look at a number of things that could decide the game in favour of either sides.


#1 The trio of Pepe, Lacazette and Aubameyang in the starting eleven

Lacazette (foreground) and Aubameyang.
Lacazette (foreground) and Aubameyang.

One of the most feared strike-forces in the league right now has got to be the trio of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and record-signing Nicolas Pepe.

A lot of opinions were divided as to why Unai Emery decided to rest Lacazette in the last match against Liverpool.

Football fans and pundits are of the opinion that the scoreline would have been completely different had Lacazette been on from the start.

When the Frenchman finally came on against Liverpool, he gave the European Champions something more to think about in terms of defending. There is no doubt whatsoever that with the trio starting the game, it will add more impetus and bite to the gunners' attack.

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#2 The threat of Son and Moura


Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura will test the Gunners
Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura will test the Gunners' rearguard with their pace and trickery.

Arguably, these two are in the bracket of the best wingers in the Premier League. Lucas Moura has improved his all-round game since his move from Paris Saint-Germain under the tutelage of Mauricio Pochettino.

The Brazilian has hugely improved his goal scoring prowess and will be remembered for his fantastic display in the semi-final of last season's UEFA Champions League.

With the uncertainty surrounding the future of Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen, it is looking likely that Pochettino would likely start the Brazilian ahead of Eriksen. Added to this, is the fact the Brazilian off-the-ball movement can cause problems for the gunners backline as seen with the movement of Roberto Firmino for Liverpool against Arsenal.

Son Heung-Min needs no introduction. On his day, he can be a tricky customer for any defence in the world. The Korean has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few seasons in the colours of Tottenham. The Gunners will have to wary of the threat he possesses going forward.

#3 The midfield battle


Lucas Torreira will be a vital cog in midfield for the gunners
Lucas Torreira will be a vital cog in midfield for the gunners

Unai Emery was widely criticized by fans for keeping the Uruguayan Lucas Torreira on the bench against Liverpool, and starting Matteo Guendouzi instead. Though the teenage Frenchman did not do too badly, The Gunners lacked that combative midfielder who would snap at players to win tackles. Granit Xhaka and Joe Willock are really not those type of players.

When Torreira came on, it was obvious that the Uruguayan was sorely missed in midfield, little wonder, he got Arsenal the consolation goal in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.


Walker-Peters is a major injury doubt ahead of the north london derby
Walker-Peters is a major injury doubt ahead of the north london derby

As reported by Evening Standard, Tottenham are facing a defensive crisis ahead of the game. Tottenham right back Kyle Walker-Peters pulled up an hour in their last game against Newcastle and is a major doubt for the game. Serge Aurier is another option, but he is unlikely to feature due to his future still being sorted out.

In that case, Pochettino could use Moussa Sissoko in that position just as he did in the closing stages of the defeat to Newcastle.

That could alter the midfield of Spurs, owing to the fact that record signing Tanguy Ndombele is also struggling to be fit for the game.


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Published 31 Aug 2019, 00:03 IST
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