Why victory over Tottenham Hotspur is crucial for Arsenal
Arsenal finally managed to win three league games in a row for the first time this season with a 5-0 thumping of Aston Villa. It was an emphatic win given that it was without their talisman, Alexis Sanchez. And, now the focus shifts towards the North London Derby. It is the first fixture looked upon by both sets of supporters when the fixtures are out.This indicates the importance of this tie.
Both sets of supporters are confident about their team's chances in the game. And why shouldn't they be? Both teams have played some impressive football recently and have defeated the title-fighters. Arsenal defeated Manchester City at Etihad while Chelsea got hammered by Spurs on new year's day. Statistically, this fixture is only behind the Liverpool-Newcastle fixture in terms of goals. So it promises to be a goal-fest.
For Arsenal, it always is an important fixture to win. Lets us look at some reasons why it is so crucial for Arsenal to get a victory at White Hart Lane
Continuing the impressive run
Arsenal are on a strong run currently and would be determined to continue it with a win over Spurs. The win would help the Gunners to climb upto third,although it might be for a short period of time. Arsenal's other top four rivals have tricky away games. Manchester United are playing West Ham while Liverpool are visiting their local rivals, Everton and QPR are hosting Southampton. Arsenal need to take advantage of any slip-ups from those top four rivals.
Arsenal need a longer run of wins in the league like the way Manchester United had in November and December. Such a run might even help them get nearer to Manchester City and Chelsea for an unlikely title challenge. Arsenal have Champions League as well as the FA cup games to play in the coming weeks.And, so a loss now would be demoralising ahead of a crucial period of the season
Proving a point
It would be the second straight league game that Arsenal would be playing without Alexis Sanchez. It was Alexis Sanchez who came off the bench to play an important role in the equalizer in the reverse fixture at the Emirates.He would certainly be missed given his heroics in this season.
The same playing eleven against Villa would be expected to start against Spurs.Arsenal proved it against Villa that they can cope up without the Chilean star. Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott have scored four goals in between them in two games. The duo need to step up in a similar manner against Spurs. Mesut Ozil has often been accused of missing in big games and this game could be the one where he needs to prove his critics wrong.
Theo Walcott too looks to have returned to his goal-scoring form. But, to do it in a big game such as the North London Derby would be a point well proved. Coquelin and Santi Cazorla have been exceptional in the recent weeks. Welbeck would also be back in the squad for this game. So, Arsenal have many offensive options to tackle the absence of Alexis Sanchez. With the current depth in their squad, they must be able to see off an impressive Spurs side.
One for the supporters
Arsenal have been very inconsistent in the first half of this season. The fans have witnessed their side capitulating to Stoke City,Swansea,Southampton and Manchester United. And hence,victory against Spurs would be special for the fans as it is always. As said earlier, it is the first fixture looked upon by both sets of supporters ,when the fixtures are out. And so a win would surely help Arsene Wenger to win back the supporters who still want him out.
Finishing above Spurs every season, has been one of the achievements of his Arsenal reign. And to continue it this season, this is the fixture that his team needs to win.The fixture will be a difficult one to win especially if you look at how improved Spurs are. But a calm and composed performance like the recent ones should surely be enough for Arsenal to get a win at White Hart Lane.