Tottenham will be bidding to claim the bragging rights in the North London derby on Sunday when they welcome bitter rivals Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League.
Antonio Conte’s men have a lot riding on the weekend’s game. A victory for Spurs should see them remain in the tussle for the top four, especially if results go their way in other games this weekend.
The north London outfit smashed Crystal Palace 4-0 away in their last Premier League outing to bounce back from the disappointing loss to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day, before edging past Portsmouth 1-0 in the FA Cup third round. Nonetheless, they face a stiff test against table toppers Arsenal, who are in superb form and will want to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Tottenham Team News
Tottenham have been handed a major injury boost ahead of the derby with Dejan Kulusevski expected to be fit. Antonio Conte has also not ruled out Rodrigo Bentancur and Richarlison, although the two South Americans are unlikely to be risked against Arsenal.
Spurs will again be without Lucas Moura, who is struggling to train due to a long-term and niggling tendon issue.
Predicted Tottenham Lineup vs Arsenal (3-4-2-1)
Hugo Lloris’ form has fluctuated in recent weeks; however, he still remains Tottenham’s undisputed No.1 until the end of the season, at least.
Lining up in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Antonio Conte could pick a back three of Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Clement Lenglet. Spurs have been defensively shoddy this season, so the defensive trio of Romero, Dier and Lenglet have to be at their best to keep a thrilling Arsenal attack far away from Lloris’ goal.
Davinson Sanchez, Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga should provide cover for defensive positions from the bench.
Yves Bissouma is available after serving a one-game suspension and should go straight into the starting XI, with the Malian partnering Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the middle of the park. It will be a tough ask for the duo of Bissouma and Hojbjerg to stop Xhaka and Partey from controlling the tempo of play, and the Spurs’ midfielders have to be ready for it.
Ivan Perisic has been a consistent performer as a left wing-back and deserves to keep his place in the team, while Matt Doherty could get the nod over Emerson Royal for the right wing-back spot again. If Rodrigo Bentancur is passed fit, it would be a big boost for Spurs to bring him off the bench.
With 14 goals in 18 North London derbies, Harry Kane is the scourge of Arsenal and he will be determined to continue his excellent goal-scoring record against Spurs’ bitter rivals. Kane is a certainty to lead the attack, with Son Heung-min offering pace, flair and creativity from the inside left channel.
Dejan Kulusevski is expected to be fit to face Arsenal, and the Swede could replace Bryan Gil on the right flank. Gil did very well against Crystal Palace and will be determined to make an impact off the bench if called upon at the weekend.