Showcase: Soccer - Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur - fans’ view
By Claire Bloomfield
LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal play Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday in the first north London derby of the season.
Here is what the fans have to say about their respective clubs:
Akhil Vyas, Arsenal Supporters Trust
"I am feeling a combination of nerves, excitement, apprehension and a buzzing feeling all rolled into one. The game is one where form traditionally goes out of the window and especially after an international break.
"Spurs are a top team but so are Arsenal, we're just less consistent. But, we're at home on Saturday and we've had a decent record against top teams there lately.
"I'm going for goals - even though Arsenal haven't been as free flowing as in previous years. I’m predicting a 3-2 win for Arsenal, but that’s me being positive. I wouldn't be surprised if it finished 2-2.
"There was a physical battle in midfield last season but it could be different this time. Arsenal will need to keep their shape and when they’re under pressure they will need to tuck in and play more like the away team.
"At the same time, Arsenal must be brave and go after Spurs. When we’re going forward in full flow, as we’ve seen recently at Everton, we are still a major force. Attack may be the best form of defence at certain points in this game.
"Spurs have finished above Arsenal once in the last 20-odd years and haven't won much during that time either. Until they do, and finish above Arsenal regularly, you can never say they are the superior force in North London."
Martin Buhagiar, Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust
"I had been feeling quite relaxed, more relaxed than usual for this fixture, but (centre back) Toby Alderweireld’s injury is a concern, particularly as Eric Dier will fill in and we have no Victor Wanyama to take his place in midfield.
“However, I believe we are the better team and will win if we play as well as we can. The game away to Manchester United shows that defensive tactics from the opposition can sometimes disrupt our attacking game.
“I am going to say 2-1 to Spurs. I don’t think Arsenal will be able to live with us defensively. It wouldn’t surprise me to see us go 2-0 up and be comfortable before they pull one back late on and give us a nervy ending.
“For me personally, it has always been a fierce game regardless of whatever team is in the ascendancy. Maybe they will want to knock us off our perch as we wanted to do to them a decade ago.
“It is the biggest derby in the country so I can see it being as fierce as ever on the pitch with wonderful noise coming from the away section.
“I can’t see Arsenal finishing above us this season. I think we are too far ahead of them. I believe we will challenge Manchester City for the title again, as we have challenged Leicester City and then Chelsea for the last two years.
"I think Arsenal will have a problem finishing in the top five – it will be between them and Liverpool fighting for fifth."
(Editing by Toby Davis)