On Saturday, two fierce rivals would do battle for supremacy in what promises to be an epic North London derby encounter. Nowadays, as a friend noted, clubs in the English premier league are loosely using the word “rivals”.
As Dictionary.com points out, a rival is a person or an object competing against you. And that clearly explains the rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham.
Over the years, the white side of North London has endured excruciating times finishing second fiddle to their North London foes. Though, most of these are down to their own carelessness. A clear example is two seasons back when Tottenham had a healthy 13-points gap over Arsenal but fumbled and ended up finishing below the gunners. Or last season where they also had a four point lead but threw them away into the wild.
This season though promises to be different. Spurs has been very busy in the transfer market securing quality players to feel the void of last season as they hope to secure a top four finish, even though they are going to be without their energetic welsh winger this season.
Still, a Tottenham without Gareth Bale on most occasions is fruitless. As the player has been the turning point for Spurs for over two seasons now. AVB would only hope his new acquisitions can lead spurs to a Champions league berth. But first, a win against Wenger’s men is sure to boost bragging rights.
Arsenal who haven’t had a busy transfer market securing only one signature should be coming into this game with a positive and relaxed mindset after securing that all important Champions League group stage spot, with a clean sheet in both legs.
Both teams should be coming into this clash with a strong team that could grind out a decent result. Though, the Gunners will be without their influential winger Lukas Podolski, who was stretched off the last game with a suspected hamstring injury.
Former Wales captain and inform midfielder Aaron Ramsey is also a huge doubt after picking up a minor injury. Other than that, we should see the same team that played against Fenerbache during the midweek. For Tottenham, it would be an avenue to unleash their new signings.
Prediction: The North London derby is full of surprises and goals. Tottenham have shown ambition to secure Champions league spot by acquiring top quality players, and one can only admire AVB options in the midfield ahead of this clash.
Also with Soldado set to lead the attack line for Spurs and Arsenal Olivier Giroud in a goal-scoring form, it should be an exciting game with goals. Still, I see Arsenal having the upper advantage especially with the home support.
Afterall, the fans control the momentum of a typical derby game. Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham.
Written by Femi Hilekaan
Follow Femi on Twitter @femi4arsenal
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