It’s time for the first North London Derby of the season as Arsenal host arch-rivals Tottenham tonight. The Spurs will be coming with their new manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who went home victorious the last time he visited Emirates as Wolves manager in February.
The arrival of Thomas Partey was met with feverish anticipation, I doubt there was any Arsenal fan unfamiliar with the name and when he appeared in red and white for his press duties, the Gunners could be forgiven for thinking they’d hit the jackpot.
Since then, its been a bumpy road with a series of successive injuries which have hampered his ability to show his full repertoire, but apparently, he’s back to 80% fitness and having made appearances at Burnley and featured against AFC Wimbledon, he is now a no-brainer selection for the North London Derby.
Partey, Aubameyang and White need to put in a performance in a crucial match against their fiercest rivals. A loss at home is more than just three points during a season where there’s no European football and a top-four looks unrealistic.
Thomas Partey Vs AFC Wimbledon (22/9/21) (H)pic.twitter.com/q2fHzkUzhc
— . (@N5COMPS) September 23, 2021
There are the domestic cups but they hardly get the pulses racing and that’s why Arteta needs his new, emerging and established players to show up. I don’t envisage many changes from the side that beat Burnley 0-1 and I’m crossing my fingers that Xhaka continues to stay out of the action. Many fans including myself are looking forward to the pairing of Partey and Lokonga which, on paper at least, offers a significant improvement.
Tomiyasu, who has been fabulous will need to shackle Son on the right and White and Gabriel will need to snuff out the threat of Harry Kane. These two can’t be allowed the freedom to connect or goals will be inevitable in tonight’s Arsenal vs Tottenham game.
Arteta also needs the full range of Odegaard skills to release his strike force and let’s be honest, if a breakthrough comes at any point in the game, the Norwegian will be involved at some point in the build-up. Perhaps, he can even bag another free-kick on the back of a Saka foray or even a Pepe press.
- Key Takeaways From a Resurgent Arsenal’s Tenacious Win Against Burnley
- Arteta Under Intense Pressure and Unforgiving Scrutiny With Only one way Forward now
- The North London Derby Takes on Greater Importance After Arsenal’s Insipid Start to the Season
The only thing to watch out for here is the occasion affecting the sanity of the players. It would be all too easy to get sent off in this intense contest and although we want to see passion, it has to be measured or it will be a tough afternoon.
It’s one of the most even NLD’s in living memory with neither really performing to the highest level. The Gunners have more of an excuse with six new players, but I suspect Arsenal will have enough about them to win 1-0 or if Tottenham chase the game 2-0.
Stay tuned for more Arsenal Matchday updates.