There’s something special about derbies. From the Derby della Madonnia to the Old Firm, city rivalries across Europe have captured the attention of football fans season after season.
The Premier League is home to many fierce fixtures to clubs that share a city, and a city that has them in abundance is London.
One of those that the capital has to offer is the matchup between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. It kicks off at 2pm at The Emirates Stadium this Sunday, a derby that’s delivered drama for decades, but what can we expect in this one?
A Big Change
Celtic are by no means a small club, but when it was announced Ange Postecoglou would be moving from there to take the reigns at Tottenham Hotspur, there was an undercurrent of trepidation.
Not a great deal was known about the Australian, and in many circles, there was less certainty on whether or not he’d be able to cope with the step up.
Transitioning to a league where managers are routinely chewed up and spat out was made more difficult with the drawn-out departure of talisman Harry Kane.
Despite an early uphill battle, Postecoglou’s Premier League arrival has been overwhelmingly encouraging. He’s endeared himself not only to Spurs fans, but fans of football, he’s charismatic and generally likable.
More importantly, his brand of football isn’t bad, either. Dubbed ‘Ange-Ball’, it’s an approach that yields plenty of goals. The prime focus is on attacking – a welcome change after the rigid regimes of José Mourinho and Antonio Conte.
In Fine Form
This new-found positivity has been reflected in the results. Currently, Spurs are second in the table and have won four games from five.
They’ve beaten Manchester United 2-0 and gave new boys Burnley a tough welcome to the Prem with a five-goal thrashing.
Most recently, Spurs’ grit, which has been doubted in previous campaigns, was on full display as they scored two goals in extra time to secure a win against Sheffield United.
Arsenal came close to being crowned champions last year but ultimately a lack of experience cost them the prize. It might seem premature, but the obvious question for this campaign is can Arsenal win the league?
Firstly though, Mikel Arteta must find an answer for Postecoglou’s rejuvenated Spurs side. Arsenal share the same record as Tottenham, five games, four wins and a draw.
It looks as though they’re yet to replicate some of the electric football seen early on in the previous season, but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad.
This is an Arsenal team that looks increasingly resilient. Perhaps one that could withstand waves of attack from a confident Spurs? One that could cope with the pressure that derailed them in the campaign gone before?
Colliding in the Capital
They share the same amount of points as well as the exact same record. They’re tough to separate, but we think that the home advantage will be the difference.
Thankfully, this is a game that should bring plenty of talking points and goals galore. We think it’ll finish 3-2 to Arsenal. How do you think it’ll play out?
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JD Football | November 21, 2023