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Arsenal v. Tottenham


Ashburton Grove



On Sky

It has been 9 years and 51 weeks since Tottenham jumped on top of Arsenal early at White Hart Lane, with two goals on their first two shots of the match. Vieira got us back into it, but two second half red cards let Spurs kill off the match. Not losing to your closest rivals in practically a decade really is a remarkable feat. Credit should go to Arsene Wenger for this, and I would go as far to say that this achievement is as great as The Invincibles or either of the doubles.

Moving onto tomorrows match. Both teams come off of a disappointing weekend result and an impressive midweek victory over Merseyside opponents. The Arsenal players should be more rested than their neighbours because, even though the Tottenham bench is 'stronger' than Arsenals, Spurs still needed to play their starters to see off Everton. Anywho, with stakes so high in the league, this promises to be a classic affair.

Quick Vital Quotes:

Arsene Wenger had this to say on the 'equality' of Arsenal and Tottenham's squad: 'I don't share that opinion. It's only an opinion and what is good about our job is that it's about performances not opinions. I believe the most important thing is what happens on the football pitch.'

'Our supporters will have their opinion and the Spurs players will have their opinions - that's part of the game, but the only thing that's important is the quality of our performance against Spurs. I'm happy with the players we have and I don't compare them with Spurs. I've got belief in my own players.'

Arsenal Team News:

The biggest news is the lack of news regarding who will start in goal. After the Liverpool game, I expected that Fabianski would retain his spot, but after suffering a mysterious thigh strain, the Pole is out for 3 to 4 weeks. This leaves Almunia and Mannone. In my opinion, the Spaniard is a better keeper and should start, but keeping him on the bench for the West Ham match was one game too far. So I would expect Mannone to start come Saturday.

Besides Fabianski, there is no new injury news to report. Denilson, Rosicky, Djourou, Wilshere, and Walcott are all still out, but Samir Nasri will return to the bench.

Predicted Starting XI: Mannone, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Clichy, Song, Diaby, Fabregas, Bendtner, Arshavin, van Persie

Player to watch: Gallas and Vermaelen

With Defoe suspended, Peter Crouch will start alongside Robbie Keane. This will be Gallas and Vermaelen's biggest test, as a partnership, so far. We have a terrible defensive record against him, and if I was a betting man, I would have to put something on him getting at least one.

Tottenham Team News:

Defoe, dos Santos, Modric, and Aaron Lennon are all out for Harry. Woodgate and King are listed as probable, but from what I've read, some Spurs fans wouldn't be surprised to see Dawson and Bassong keep their place in the centre of the defence.

Possible Starting XI: Gomes, Corluka, Woodgate, Bassong, Assou-Ekotto, Bentley, Huddlestone, Palacios, Kranjcar, Crouch, Keane

Player to watch: David Bentley

With the world's fastest penguin out injured, David Bentley will get a rare start. He will play a fantastic game, and then disappear for the rest of the season.

Match Facts & Stats

Arsene Wenger is gunning for his 1000th league point in England. He currently has 997 Premier League points.

The Gunners have dropped only four points from a possible 30 in their last 10 Premier League home meetings with Spurs.

A league high of 12 different nationalities have scored for Arsenal this season.

Tottenham have scored nine goals in their last three matches against Arsenal in all competitions.

Ref Watch:

Mark Clattenburg will be the head official for this match.

Match Prediction:

The 145th league North London derby will be a fantastic encounter, unless the early kickoff sucks some spunk out of the match. I will go with a 4-2 win for the Arsenal. I don't care about the irony of the scoreline. Spurs will score, but we'll be able to outscore them.

Next Fixtures:

4/11 (Wed) - AZ Alkmaar (h) - Champions League

7/11 (Sat) - Wolverhampton (a) - Premier League

21/11 (Sat) - Sunderland (a) - Premier League

The match will be on Sky in England and ESPN2 in the States. Have a good weekend everyone. Common Arsenal!!

Writer:Brice Coffer
Date:Friday October 30 2009
Time: 8:28PM

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So long as we don't start Diaby AND Eboue, we should be ok
30/10/2009 21:37:00
very diplomatic arsene lets hope there arent any of the famous arsenal mistakes or lose a game you should have won!?
30/10/2009 22:12:00
That's not really an Arsenal thing though is it? That's just a football thing.
30/10/2009 22:32:00
Talk about Mr Roboto getting on the end of crosses all you want, but who will provide them? Bentley? He hasn't delivered a cross that mattered since he was at Blackburn.
31/10/2009 04:00:00
Yes he did he crossed into your net last season it was a n absolute beauty!
31/10/2009 06:29:00
im surprissed winger has actually seen the comments
31/10/2009 10:25:00
TP powel, whats wrong with diaby everytime i see the boy play he just looks better and better, if he doesnt play i will be happy. please play eboue though the guys a clown
31/10/2009 10:28:00
Almunia it is! also, not surprised to see Nicky in there, we'll need him during set pieces
31/10/2009 12:17:00
bentley should be off!!!!!
31/10/2009 12:50:00
bentley should have been given the marching orders with two yellow cards.. nd he is not even booked
31/10/2009 12:51:00
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