Match Preview, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Match date & time: Saturday 27th September 2014. 5:30pm GMT KO.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: Emirates Stadium.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. World wide TV listings HERE.

Here it is, the North London Derby. The most intense and nerve wracking game of the season, where expectation, blind hope, support & anxiousness all merge into one. A game with incredible history, which never fails to excite the neutrals and make the fans go grey with stress. Apart from bragging rights for the fans, this game brings a massive opportunity for Tottenham, not only to return to winning ways in the Premier League, but sparking our season into life, bringing confidence to the squad and Mauricio Pochettino instant heroism with the Tottenham fans. This game always brings an opportunity to unite the club as one, no matter what is happening around the club at the time. We all know how tough this game will be, Arsenal are an incredibly talented outfit who are very difficult to beat, especially at the Emirates, but, the players have to be confident in their ability, play their own game and play with aggression, passion & grit, if all that happens, I’m confident we’ll bring home the 3 points. We’ve got to support, and hope that the players and Mauricio Pochettino perform, and bring home the three points that can go into history.

Arsenal have a good team – they are without a doubt one of the best teams in the Premier League, and will challenge at the top of the table, as they always do. Their start to the season hasn’t been perfect, far from it, they have a record of 9 games, 3 wins, 4 draws and 2 losses. They haven’t found their rhythm as of yet, and have shown that they are definitely beatable, with defence seemingly their biggest downfall, conceding 10 goals in those 9 games. This is a North London Derby, though, and Arsenal will try their best to bring their A game for this match, as they so often do, so we need to call & then raise their hand. Last time out for Arsenal, they were beaten by Southampton at the Emirates 2-1 in the Capital One Cup. Arsenal were frustrated, and Southampton got their tactics spot on. If we can defend well, and be clinical in front of goal, we can get something at least from this game. In the Premier League, they beat Aston Villa comfortably 3-0 at Villa Park, where they were much more clinical and impressive. It’s going to be very tough for us.

The Team news for Arsenal is that Yaya Sanogo (hamstring), Nacho Monreal (back), Mathieu Debuchy (ankle), Olivier Giroud (ankle), Theo Walcott (knee) and Serge Gnabry (knee) are out of the game, while Mathieu Flamini (dead leg) is a doubt, but expected to return to the squad. There are quite a few important players in that injury list for Arsenal, but they will still put out a strong side, that’s for sure. Danny Welbeck looks to be the man to start up front, with Alexis Sanchez on the wing. They have a lot of attacking threats, especially from midfield. It looks as though Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere & Alexis Sanchez will line up as a the attacking midfielders, with Mikel Arteta holding, which is a very threatening midfield with a lot of quick, talented players that can cause us problems along with Danny Welbeck making runs ahead of them. Our defence will have to be on top form. In defence for Arsenal, they have had some problems, but Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are 99% sure to be their centre back duo, with Keiran Gibbs on the left and former player of Mauricio Pochettino Calum Chambers on the right, which is very strong and they will have a good understanding of each other.

The team news for Tottenham is that we have a fully fit squad to face Arsenal, with the exception of Kyle Walker (abdominal) who remains out after surgery. Great news! It’s a rarity to have a fully fit squad, and hopefully it can give us the opportunity to go to the Emirates and get a positive result. After being rested for the Capital One Cup game against Nottingham Forest, Hugo Lloris, Emmanuel Adebayor, Younes Kaboul, Nacer Chadli, Etienne Capoue, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele will all return to the squad, hopefully fresh and raring to go against the Gunners.

As a team, we haven’t hit full throttle. And that’s down to a lot of factors; the team not fully knowing Mauricio Pochettino’s style completely, players still adapting to the Premier League and the players all finding out each other’s games and style. But, it is also down to key players not hitting the ground running, no more so than Christian Eriksen, who was instrumental to any glimmer of success last term, but has yet to find his old form, and improve on that. As a team is difficult, because as the old saying goes, when he plays, we play. Hopefully, on the big stage against Arsenal, Christian can find his top form and be our main man once again. In the centre of midfield, debates are rife throughout the fan-base, all we know is that Etienne Capoue is, more or less, a key player in that central area, but it is who partners him which causes confusion. Mousa Dembele, Paulinho, Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli are fighting it out for that role, and at the moment it seems Mousa Dembele has caught the fancy of Pochettino alongside Capoue, closely followed by Nabil Bentaleb and Benjamin Stambouli, with Paulinho seemingly seen as back up for the number 10 role. In this game, I would partner Capoue with Dembele once again – I think Mousa is a fantastic player and on form is a terrific passer and controller of the game, he pips Bentaleb & Stambouli because of that, but also because he is more experienced in these situations, and more likely to keep his head! Upfront, the discussion is still whether Emmanuel Adebayor should continue up front, or should Roberto Soldado get his chance in the Premier League, with his link up play seemingly better than Adebayor’s. My view is that Adebayor continues for this game, against his former club. He’s sure to be very pumped up and I think he’s more likely of a goal than Soldado. It is a tough choice though for Pochettino. Finally, at right back, I’d play Kyle Naughton instead of Eric Dier after Kyle’s performance in midweek and I think he’s more suited to the right back role than Dier.

Match Stats & Facts provided by Opta:

– Arsenal have won four of their last five Barclays Premier League games against Tottenham (two 1-0 wins and two 5-2 wins).

– Tottenham have won just one of their last 21 Barclays Premier League games away at Arsenal.

– Arsenal last failed to score at home to Spurs in the Premier League in November 1998. Since then the Gunners have scored 38 times in 15 games.

– Tottenham have conceded six penalties in the Premier League in 2014, only Manchester United have conceded as many.

– Arsenal took 25 points from their 10 London derbies in the Premier League last season (W8 D1 L1) and defeated Crystal Palace on the opening weekend this season.

– Six of Tottenham’s seven league points this season have come in London derbies.

– If there are four goals in this game then it will become the outright highest scoring fixture in Premier League history (currently 126 goals).

– Seven points from five games is Tottenham’s slowest start since gaining just two under Juande Ramos in 2008-09.

– Arsenal (154) and Tottenham (125) are first and third respectively for dribbles attempted this season.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals than any other player in north London derby history (8 for Arsenal and 2 for Spurs).

There’s no bigger game in the Premier League for Tottenham than facing Arsenal. A game with rich history, fierce rivalry & exciting games all in one. This match is important for our season, not only for the three points but to show we can match the top teams and compete at the top this season. It’s going to be very difficult to get three points, but all I ask from the players is that we the fans don’t come out embarrassed and ashamed; that would be nice. Three points is always the main goal though. The game is televised live on Sky Sports 1, but I’ll be giving match updates, videos, pictures and much more from my Twitter account. Follow me here: @AddictedToSpurs. Nerves are here already! Let’s get three points! COYS!!

My predicted/preferred team to face Arsenal at the Emirates:
Naughton – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Capoue – Dembele
Lamela – Eriksen – Chadli

Mauricio Pochettino previews the trip to Arsenal:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Nottingham Forest.

Match date & time: Wednesday 24th September 2014. 7:45pm KO.

Competition: Capital One Cup 3rd Round.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1. Worldwide TV listings HERE.

Our Capital One Cup campaign starts here; with a tough match against the Championship league leaders. Tottenham Hotspur and it’s players have to want & fight to win every competition entered, but it’s always difficult to use the squad in a good way which doesn’t effect it too much in the Premier League, which is always the main focus, especially with the North London Derby coming up on Saturday. We have a strong squad, with a lot of depth and we have the gift of being able to rotate the starting 11 in the Europa League, Premier League, FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. We have to look to go far in every competition, but this takes mental & physical strength from the players. This game against Nottingham Forest is important for Tottenham, not just because it would be great to go far in the Capital One Cup, but because we need a win after a short drought. Especially ahead of a North London Derby, we need to go in with a win and possibly a little boost of the confidence.

Nottingham Forest have been fantastic this season. They are unbeaten in all competitions after 9 games, winning 7 and drawing 2. Under new boss Stuart Pearce the club have been very impressive, with the Forest legend reinvigorating both the players & the fans, which has now turned into a winning mentality. This team will be no push over, they have good players but it is their togetherness as a team that makes them so much of a threat and difficult opposition. For Tottenham, our form has dwindled since a loss to Liverpool at White Hart Lane, going 4 games without a win in all competitions; this game represents a chance to end that run dead before four difficult fixtures against Arsenal, Besiktas, Southampton and Manchester City. Having the game against Nottingham Forest at White Hart Lane makes me more confident, despite our loss to West Brom at the Lane the past weekend.

The team news for Nottingham Forest is that club captain Jack Cohen, Jack Hobbs, Jack Hunt, Matty Fryatt & former Spur Andy Reid will not feature for the Reds. The main threat for Nottingham Forest is their striker Britt Assombalonga; he has incredible strength and a clinical Goalscoring rate so far this season. In the Championship, Assombalonga has 8 goals in 8 appearances, which highlights his incredible ability to get goals, important ones too. Last season he was with Peterborough in League 1, scoring 33 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. Now, he’s showing he can cut it in the Championship. Another very important attacking threat for Nottingham Forest is winger Michail Antonio; the pacey, direct and effective wide man has 5 goals in 10 games so far this season, which is a very good tally for a winger, he can provide but he can also contribute to scoring goals. He’s rapid, and alongside Assombalonga is a real threat in behind our defence, so we have to be on top of them from the start to nullify their threat.

The team news for Tottenham is that Kyle Walker (abdominal) remains out, but Andros Townsend is expected to return to the squad after a dead leg that kept him out of the game against West Brom. Roberto Soldado is expected to start up front, with Michel Vorm also expected to get his debut in goal. We have a fully fit squad expect for Kyle Walker, which is a rarity in Tottenham’s case. Hopefully, we can take advantage and get some good results in the near, near future.

Everyone knows Roberto Soldado’s story. The clinical striker from Spain coming to Spurs and failing to live up to the billing in his first season. I still believe there is a player in there, somewhere, buried underneath his personal doubt and lack of confidence. Glimmers of hope have emerged throughout the season (and a bit) that he’s been with us, and every game he plays is a chance for him to score a few goals and regain at least some of that confidence and clinical nature. It’s another chance for him at White Hart Lane against Nottingham Forest. A player with a lot to prove is Andros Townsend – after an injury in the second half of last season, he hasn’t regained the sort of form he had in the first half. Every game is a good chance for him to get up to scratch, but he needs to be more effective with assists and goals to have a chance of gaining a regular place in the starting 11, I’m sure he knows that. In defence, Federico Fazio has a chance to get his first appearance at White Hart Lane; every game will help him bed in to the side and understand his team mates more, and I think he will be paired with either Vlad Chiriches or Jan Vertonghen for this match against Nottingham Forest. Personally, I’d prefer Vlad to play, and save Vertonghen to play in the North London Derby on Saturday evening after being left out of the side to face West Brom.

A return to winning ways is on the agenda. A tough task against a flying Nottingham Forest, but at White Hart Lane we have to be confident of earning a place in the 4th round of the Capital One Cup. The game is televised on Sky Sports 1, but I will be providing match updates, videos, pictures and more from my Twitter account. Follow me here: @AddictedToSpurs. Let’s get to the next round.. COYS!!

My predicted/proffered team to face Nottingham Forest at the Lane:
Naughton – Fazio – Chiriches – Davies
Lennon – Bentaleb – Stambouli – Townsend

Short views from Mauricio Pochettino on Nottingham Forest;

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Arsenal.

Match date & time: Sunday 16th March 2014. Kick off 4pm.

Competition: Premier League.

Venue: White Hart Lane.

TV: Live on Sky Sports 1.

The North London derby; it doesn’t come much bigger throughout the footballing world. The intense rivalry between the two clubs runs through the veins of it’s fans and everyone connected with the club. ‘Hate Arsenal’, it almost comes as one of the requirements of being a Spurs fan, and so every game is a passionate, fiery and exciting spectacle, and this Sunday won’t be any different. I’ve seen people say that we have ‘nothing to play for’ in the rest of this season, but we certainly do, especially in this game, we have pride to play for. The North London Derby is never irrelevant and will never be irrelevant, it means everything to the fans and the club; it’s special. We need this win, the whole club is desperate for it after what has been a difficult season, 3 points would be priceless.

A performance with passion, desire and fight is needed. If you can’t get up for a North London Derby you won’t get up for anything. I still strongly believe in the quality of the players we have, but the players themselves need to step up and be counted, and if there is any time to do it, it’s against Arsenal at White Hart Lane. Players seem to be waiting for someone to grab hold of the game and do something special instead of taking the game by the scruff of the neck themselves, and forcing a change of fortune. The only player who is, is Christian Eriksen, but he can’t do it on his own, he needs help. We have not lost against Arsenal at White Hart Lane in 5 Premier League fixtures, which gives us hope for sure, with the atmosphere pounding and the desperate need for a win we have a real chance to get three points; let’s hope the players can replicate the sort of performance that was given last season and find three points.

We all know what Arsenal possess; fast, attractive football with the tendency to over play it in the final third, but the capability to split defences and score incredible team goals. Possession football. They can be bullied, hurried and outfought. They are anything but unbeatable. After Saturday’s fixtures only 1 place and 6 points separates 4th place Arsenal and 5th place Spurs, although Arsenal have a game in hand. They have slipped in their February and March fixtures, and now a title push looks beyond them after an extremely promising start. The team news for Arsenal is that Jack Wilshere (ankle), Mesut Ozil (hamstring), Nicklas Bendtner (knee), Theo Walcott (karma), Aaron Ramsey (thigh) and Abou Diaby (everything) are out of the North London Derby, with Tomas Rosicky (groin), Yaya Sanogo (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (ankle) all facing late tests on their fitness and so are labelled as doubts. Nacho Monreal and Kim Kallstrom are set to be available to Arsenal’s squad. The threats for Arsenal come in the shape of Lukas Podolski up front, who has been in great form for the Gunners since returning to the side alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who has impressed in recent weeks, especially against Bayern Munich at the Alianz Arena.

The team news for Tottenham is that Erik Lamela (thigh/back), Vlad Chiriches (back), Etienne Capoue (ankle) and Michael Dawson (hamstring) are out of the NLD, with Mousa Dembele (calf), Emmanuel Adebayor (knee/ankle) and Kyle Walker (groin) listed as doubts for the game, but I’d say they will be likely to feature, especially Emmanuel Adebayor and Kyle Walker. Danny Rose is back after injury as well as Gylfi Sigurdsson who missed the Benfica game. The crucial player for Spurs at the moment is obvious; Christian Eriksen is the spark, he gives everyone hope that the future is bright and his performances recently have been top class, so we need him on top form this Sunday. I’d play Eriksen in the centre, behind Adebayor, if fit, if not, then behind Roberto Soldado, this gives him the license to be in the hole and not have to worry about tracking back on the left hand side, Christian is so much more effective in the whole with the ability to thread passes and make things happen. On the left, I’d give the job to Andros Townsend, a Spurs fan at heart and on the left he gives us width and pace, he knows what the North London Derby means to the fans and he shares a hate for Arsenal, so has the passion we need in a game like this. Defensively, the Younes Kaboul and Jan Vertonghen partnership should continue, with Danny Rose entering the left back slot and hopefully Kyle Walker retaining his spot on the right if he is fit enough, that gives us arguably our strongest back four available when everyone is fit. In the centre of midfield, I think Sandro and Paulinho will continue their partnership, but if Mousa Dembele can be fit enough, he has to slot in for Paulinho who hasn’t been in good form at all recently.

Match facts and stats provided by FourFourTwo

– Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last five Barclays Premier League home games but shipped five against Man City in the other match.

– Arsenal have kept only one clean sheet in their last seven Barclays Premier League away games and have won none of the last three (D1 L2).

– Spurs have had loss/loss results in their last five home defeats against top-six teams.

– Only Liverpool v Newcastle (126) has seen more goals than Arsenal v Tottenham (125) in Premier League history.

– Emmanuel Adebayor has scored more goals than any other player in North London derby history (10 – eight for Arsenal and two for Spurs).

– Spurs have had more goals in the second half in their last five matches against top-six teams.

– Arsenal have won none of the last five Premier League north London derbies at White Hart Lane (W0 D2 L3) with all three defeats by a 1-2 scoreline.

– Per Mertesacker has scored in two of his last three Premier League games against Spurs.

– Arsenal have had both teams scoring in their last six away matches against top-six teams.

– Olivier Giroud has scored the opening goal in seven different Premier League matches this season; more often than any other player.

– Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 30 Premier League north London derbies (Feb 2009).

– Spurs have had 2-1 scorelines in their last four home wins against Arsenal.

– Tottenham are seeking their 50th league win over the Gunners. Arsenal have won 63 and there have been 41 draws.

– Tottenham have made 13 errors leading to goal in the Premier League this season, three more than any other side. Three of them came last weekend against Chelsea.

There is nothing bigger for a Tottenham fan in a Premier League season than the North London Derby at home. It’s time to put our recent form and problems aside and all strive together in one direction to beat Arsenal! Let’s make White Hart Lane rock! I’ll be in attendance at the Lane, and will update as much as possible. Let’s get three points!! COYS!!

My preferred/predicted team to face Arsenal at the Lane:
Walker – Kaboul – Vertonghen – Rose
Paulinho – Sandro
Lennon – Eriksen – Townsend

Tim Sherwood speaks about the Arsenal game on Sunday:

Match Preview, Arsenal vs Tottenham.

Match date and time: Saturday 4th January 2014. Kick off 5:15pm GMT.

Venue: Emirates Stadium.

Competition: FA Cup Third Round

TV: Live on ITV 1.

Ah, the North London Derby. A game to savour for all football fans, it’s very rarely a boring game, and the way both teams are now playing it looks like the game will be full of offensive flair, good football and goals. Last time out against Arsenal, we lost 1-0 at the Emirates, in a game which was overshadowed by the departure of Gareth Bale the same day. That wasn’t a good day, but we weren’t at full strength and that was very early in the season, where our players had hardly played together since coming in, in the transfer window. Since that game, a lot has changed, we have a new manager and we are now playing some really good football. But as the old saying goes, League form goes out the window in the Cup. It’s all about who performs on the day, and we have to make sure that it’s us, and we go through. It’s going to be difficult, it’s never easy at the Emirates, but our away from has been brilliant and we’ve won 4 on the trot away from home, so it gives us confidence, especially as our last game was against Manchester United, which we won. I’m looking forward to this. I feel confident, which I didn’t feel when it was announced. With our current form, why can’t we beat them?

Arsenal have obviously had a stunning first half of the season, they are top of the Premier League, much to our annoyance, but you have to give them credit, they’ve deserved it. But it’s not something that matters, they’ve found it more tough in recent weeks, only scraping past Newcastle at St James’ and manager-less Cardiff at the Emirates. I think it shows they are finding it more difficult, but it also shows their determination to get through difficult hard fought games. The team news for the Gunners is that Ozil (shoulder), Bendtner (ankle), Ramsey (thigh), Gibbs (calf), Sanogo (back), Diaby (knee) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (match-fitness) are all out, while Olivier Giroud is a doubt through sickness. You can see that Arsenal have quite a few out through in injury, but they still have quality players all over the park, Theo Walcott being one who is in great form, as well as Santi Cazorla who is a brilliant player.

The Team news for Spurs is that Naughton (hamstring), Lamela (hip), Sigurdsson (calf), Paulinho (ankle), Vertonghen (ankle) and Kaboul (quad) are all out, while Jermain Defoe, Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend are in contention after injuries. Emmanuel Adebayor is confirmed as fit and Tim Sherwood says he will start against his former club, despite being stretchered off at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Tim Sherwood has promised a very strong line up for the game against Arsenal, saying he’d love to play the youngsters, but as it’s Arsenal he simply can’t because it means so much to the fans! So, we are expected to line up similar if not the same as we did at Old Trafford in our 1-2 win, and I’m not against that at all! We are in great form and so is Emmanuel Adebayor, he has been our outstanding player under Sherwood and it’s massive that he’s back for this game against Arsenal, I’m sure he’ll be full of confidence and raring to go against his former club, he’s loving football again and when Adebayor is loving it, he’s one of the best in the business. Having Lewis Holtby and Andros Townsend back are two big boosts as well, Andros has been missed, and I think playing him on the left with Lennon on the right is a definite option, as Eriksen although being brilliant in recent games on the left, doesn’t offer a lot of protection to Danny Rose, and he’s better in the middle. Holtby is a great squad player, news he wasn’t rated by Tim was disappointing to me as I believe he can become a really good player, at only 23, he’s already very talented. The 4-4-2 formation looks to continue against the Gunners.

There aren’t many bigger games in England than the North London Derby, if any. We all want to win this one, from the fans, players, manager, board, right up to the White Hart Lane Janitor. Bragging rights in North London, and make it another failure for Arsenal in the cups. You can follow all the action from my twitter account @AddictedToSpurs, where I’ll provide match updates, videos, pictures and all the news from the game. Let’s ‘ave it! COYS!!

My predicted team to face Arsenal at the Emirates:
Walker – Dawson – Chiriches – Rose
Lennon – Capoue – Dembele – Eriksen
Adebayor – Soldado

Tim Sherwood’s full pre match press conference ahead of Arsenal in the Cup:

Match Preview, Tottenham vs Arsenal

This is it, probably our biggest league game of the season, so much riding on this game. Passion, desire and skill will all be involved in this kind of game, anything can happen. In my opinion, it’s the biggest derby in the Premier League, constantly brings up classics, and this one could definitely be another storming game. Arsenal beat us at the Emirates, and it was a thrashing, we want revenge and we have to get it, for the good of our season! Arsenal are a good side, there is no disputing that, but we are better, and we can certainly beat them.

Gareth Bale will be key to our success in this game, he needs to play well, and if he does, he is unstoppable, Arsenal won’t be able to deal with him, as nobody can. Lewis Holtby will be so up for this game, he has been so passionate since he’s been here, and if he scores it would be unbelievable, and personally, I think he can do it! Jermain Defoe is in contention to start, and hopefully he will as Adebayor has been poor and Defoe, if he’s given an opportunity he will finish it, has to play if he’s fit. Adebayor, if he does start, could either have a great game, or an awful one, it could go either way, he could be up for it, we never know with North London Derby! We need to win this game, so to go 7 points clear of Arsenal. Lets get this win! The game is televised, it is live on Sky Sports with coverage starting at 3:00pm. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Arsenal at White Hart Lane:
Walker – Dawson – Vertonghen – Assou-Ekotto
Lennon – Parker – Dembele – Bale

Match Preview, Arsenal vs Tottenham

This is the game that always gets the fans going, so many tears have been wept, but a lot of joy has been shared. It has been too long since we were the dominant force in North London, but I think now is the time to change this and regain our position as the best. Arsenal haven’t started brilliantly by all means, and a 3-3 draw at home last weekend to a ‘mid-table’ team shows how poor they have been this season. We have a very good away record this season, which is unlike us, but it could be crucial to our season if our home form keeps being poor. Both Arsenal and us like to score goals, so I expect it to be high scoring, with lots of chances being created for both teams.

There are loads of Injury doubts, Lennon, Defoe and Walker all have minor knocks. If those types of players are out, it will make life very hard for us at the Emirates. I think Friedel will keep his spot in the first eleven, Lloris will have to wait his turn simple as that. Having Dembele out is as ever, a massive blow, but he is 50/50 for our game against Lazio in the Europa League, which will be a massive boost for us. Adebayor and Gallas come back to face their former club, so they should be up for a fight. It should be a brilliant game and I hope that we can put in one of our best, if not our best performances of the season and get three points at the Emirates. COYS!!

My preferred team to face Arsenal:
Walker – Gallas – Caulker – Vertonghen
Lennon – Huddlestone – Sandro – Bale
Defoe – Adebayor