By Bulldog Drummond
On 8 February Arsenal were ten points behind Tottenham. A win in this game would leave us just one point behind them.
In terms of injuries both Koscielny and Lichsteiner are thought to have a chance of being available for selection for the Tottenham match. Otherwise it is just our three long term injured, who will be out for the rest of the season. Maitland-Niles has had an illness, but is now fully fit.
Tottenham have four injuries: Winks and Vertonghen are both thought to be possibles for the game.
For Tottenham the positive omens are that Pochettino has not lost a match against Arsenal on whichever ground Tottenham call home, and Tottenham have not had three consecutive league defeats in over six years. So a defeat would be something to remember.
A win for Tottenham on the other hand would give them three league home wins against us in a row for the first time since 1961. It is perhaps a mark of the difference between the clubs that the last time we had three league home wins against Tottenham in a row was 2013 – 52 years more recently. But of course for a team that runs the movie of winning the league in black and white, time is never of the essence. Here’s our most recent run…
|26 Feb 2012||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||5-2|
|17 Nov 2012||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||5-2|
|01 Sep 2013||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||1-0|
And while dealing with the factoids here’s a good one from the BBC… “Tottenham have gone a Premier League record 32 consecutive fixtures without a draw since April. It’s the longest top-flight run since Portsmouth’s 38-game streak in 1928-29.”
In terms of top six games, Tottenham have lost five of the seven games played against the other top six sides this season. Our record against the rest of the top six this season in the league is…
|12 Aug 2018||Arsenal v Manchester City||L||0-2|
|18 Aug 2018||Chelsea v Arsenal||L||3-2|
|03 Nov 2018||Arsenal v Liverpool||D||1-1|
|02 Dec 2018||Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur||W||4-2|
|05 Dec 2018||Manchester United v Arsenal||D||2-2|
|29 Dec 2018||Liverpool v Arsenal||L||5-1|
|19 Jan 2019||Arsenal v Chelsea||W||2-0|
|03 Feb 2019||Manchester City v Arsenal||L||3-1|
Played 8, won two, drawn two, lost four. But the last time we won away against one of the top six was back in January 2015 when we beat Manchester City 2-0.
On the goal scoring front Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored six league goals in London derbies this season – the best among the London teams and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored four goals and provided three assists in his last four league games.
Which brings us to the teams…
The Standard goes with
Sokratis, Koscielny, Mustafi;
Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Torreira, Kolasniac;
Goal.com on the other hand has
Mailtland-Miles, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac
Torreira Xhaka Guendouzi
The Telegraph is pretty hot on telling us what channel it is on and when the kick off is, but don’t want to predict a line up – at least not when I looked. A bit feeble from the land of “expert opinion” Instead they give us a squad list…
Leno, Cech, Maitland-Niles, Jenkinson, Lichtsteiner, Koscielny, Mustafi, Papastathopoulos, Monreal, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny, Torreira, Guendouzi, Iwobi, Suarez, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Lacazette, Nketiah.
90 minutes however do have a go…
Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac;
Torreria, Xhaka, Ramsey;
Sky won’t give us any predictions, but Paul Merson reckons it will be a 2-2 draw.
And one more variation just for the fun of it… this is from Red London
Jenkinson, Sokratis, Koscielny, Kolasinac
Torreira, Xhaka, Mkhitatryan
Ozil, Lacazette, Aubameyang
I stopped doing my own predictions because I was getting them so wrong so often it seemed rather silly to keep trying, but now we are reporting what other people say, I reckon I wasn’t as whacky and wild in picking a team after all.
And so to the game…