Arsenal go into this season’s first North London derby on a high, having seen off Aston Villa last weekend 3-0 with goals from Danny Welbeck and Mesut Ozil, The Gunners currently sit in fourth place, two points above their rivals. Tottenham, however, go into this game following a defeat to West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League last weekend. Last season’s fixture ended in a 1-0 win for arsenal following an early goal for Tomas Rosicky in their last encounter at White Hart Lane.
Mauricio Pochettino’s team face a tough challenge, against a side who have won five of the last six head-to-head fixtures. Tottenham midfielder Nacer Chadli will be the man to stop for the Arsenal defenders, who sits in joint third on the Premier League scoring charts, having scored three goals in four appearances for Tottenham. Erik Lamela is also on a good run of form with two assists and 127 passes in the opposition half. The Argentina international has covered 52km this season already reaching top speeds of 33.8km/h. These stats are topped only by attacking midfielder Christian Eriksen, who has managed to cover an impressive distance of 55km with a maximum average speed of 8.1 km/h.
The two goalkeepers both have played every minute for their respective clubs, and have conceded six goals so far this season. However, Hugo Lloris leads the head to head record with 13 saves and five clearances compared to Wojciech Szczesny’s 11 saves and two clearances. Younes Kaboul is the only other player to play every minute for Tottenham so far this season and has covered a distance of 48 km in his 450 minutes on the pitch, with a defensive record of 30 clearances, 13 interceptions and eight tackles won.
Arsenal fans will be hoping Alexis Sanchez can continue his run of scoring form, who has started his Arsenal career with two goals in four appearances. The Chilean forward has reached a top speed of 34.2 km/h and has already reached 10 successful dribbles, and attempted 17 crosses. Any performance from their new signing will rely on Arsenal’s key man Aaron Ramsey, who currently tops the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index for passing, with 249 passes in the opposition half, 303 passes attempted, and is only topped by Tottenham’s Etienne Capoue for total accurate passes. Ramsey is also a scoring threat, with two goals from the midfield in the Premier League this year.
Arsene Wenger will also be eager for a return to form for midfielder Mesut Ozil, who has been coming under increased scrutiny due to some poor performances this season. The German International has covered 42.1km so far this season, however despite scoring against Aston Villa, has one assist and two on target attempts. Arsenal’s defence has come under a lot of criticism recently, with a seeming lack of depth in that part of the pitch. Arsenal’s top tackler according to the EA SPORTS Player Performance Index is Matthieu Debuchy, who of course is unavailable for the next three months due to injury. Arsenal’s next highest tackler is youngster Calum Chambers, who has 12 tackles won in five games, with three tackles lost and six fouls. France international Laurent Koscielny will provide a lot of security at the centre of Arsenal’s defence, the 29 year old has won eight tackles and lost just one, on top of 19 clearances, 131 accurate passes and 17 interceptions, third best in the league.
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