Tottenham square off against Arsenal in another pivotal North London Derby on Sunday, March 14th at the Emirates.
THE. NORTH. LONDON. DERBY.
Tottenham will undoubtedly be the favorite to take the three points, both on form and talent in-and-around the first eleven. However, as we all know, “favorites” or “odds” mean absolutely nothing in these types of matches which see form evaporate in place of passion, grit, pride and determination.
Jose Mourinho should have his side ready for battle. Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Gareth Bale will lead the line for Spurs, while one would expect Lucas Moura to slot in behind the trio, tasked with linking the pivot to the front-three, while surely being granted a long leash and some breathing room with regards to where he should be operating. Lucas is top of class when it comes to showing for the ball in tight spaces, something which Mourinho seems very keen on and something which I expect to play a pivotal factor tomorrow. With Bale and Son running, Kane dropping deep and Lucas playing a free role, the defense will have loads to deal with and should struggle.
Behind the attacking quartet I fully expect to see Ndombele alongside Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg. Tanguy has recently proven himself very capable of absorbing pressure and using his technical skill to open up space and progress the ball. It is very challenging to take the ball from him and for that, he offers Hojbjerg the chance to focus on simply breaking up play, similar to the way Eric Dier played alongside Mousa Dembele in 2015/16, and Wanyama alongside Dembele the following campaign.
Lastly, in looking at the back, I expect to see the same makeup that has seen us hit a firm run of positive form. Lloris in goal, Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez in the center of the defense, and Serge Aurier and Sergio Reguilon providing width and coverage on the flanks. This back line has proven communicable, capable, and most importantly, to harbor some semblance of chemistry, something Spurs and Mourinho had been craving for six weeks or so.
As Mourinho said, Spurs will only be looking up as they shift their eyes forward, and as long as they play the way in which they are setup to play, I am confident that Tottenham will secure the three points. Jose will have the team ready and again, it will come down to their execution on the pitch. Arsenal are in turnover, a bit of turmoil and while Spurs did hit a rough patch, their form is flying and their confidence should be of equal stature.
3-1 Spurs for me. COYS.