Need Breaking Updates?
Subscribe Now and Receive Breaking Stories directly to your email inbox daily
Thank you for subscribing.
Something went wrong.
Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Wembley on Saturday
Arsenal will look to record back-to-back victories over their arch-rivals Tottenham this season when they face Mauricio Pochettino’s men in Saturday’s north London derby.
The Gunners beat Spurs at Emirates Stadium in November thanks to goals from Shkodran Mustafi and Alexis Sanchez, but have struggled to maintain a run of consistent form in the Premier League this campaign.
Arsene Wenger’s side have won their last 9 games at Wembley but the Arsenal boss thinks it won’t make a huge difference when the two sides face each other this weekend.
“I just think that, for us, it will be more about sorting out the tactical problems,” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.
“To be at the level of performance we want to be, we have to play our fluent football. What Wembley gives you is a good quality of pitch to allow you to play the kind of game we want to play.”
Saturday’s 5-1 win over Everton marked the home debuts of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, with Aubameyang grabbing a goal on his debut and Mkhitaryan notching a hat-trick of assists.
Danny Welbeck returns after a hip injury while Nacho Monreal is expected to be passed fit after being substituted following a kick on his thigh against Everton.
A late fitness test for Petr Cech is required as the goalkeeper hasn’t trained after sustaining an injury in the win against the Toffees, with David Ospina ready to deputise for the Czech shot-stopper.
“Maybe Danny Welbeck will be back,” said Wenger.
“We had a few problems with Cech, who we are not sure about at the moment because he’s not trained. I don’t know if he will be available. Monreal looks alright again. It should be a similar squad.”
Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla remains a long-term absentee with an Achilles injury.
Arsenal have no players suspended for this game.
ARSENAL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Arsenal are likely to be unchanged from their 5-1 win over Everton although Ospina could start between the sticks if Cech isn’t passed fit.
Aaron Ramsey looks set to play alongside Granit Xhaka in midfield following his hattrick last weekend, while Hector Bellerin and Monreal are likely to continue in the full-back positions.
In attack, Mkhitaryan, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi are expected to support new boy Aubameyang – preferred to Alexandre Lacazette – up front.
TOTTENHAM TEAM NEWS
Spurs sit above Arsenal in the league table but the Gunners could close the gap to a single point with victory at Wembley.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men made light work of League Two side Newport County in midweek after a 2-0 replay win which saw them progress to the FA Cup fifth-round.
Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose made their return from injuries in the fourth-round replay and look set to start against Arsenal, while Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli were unused substitutes.
Kane is the club’s top scorer with 31 goals to his name so far this season.
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
- Arsenal are aiming to win both home and away against their north London rivals in the Premier League for just the fourth time in the same season, doing so previously in 2004-05, 2007-08 and 2013-14.
- This is the first meeting between Spurs and Arsenal at Wembley since April 1993, when they met in an FA Cup semi-final, with Arsenal winning 1-0 from a Tony Adams goal.
- This fixture has seen both sides score in the game on 34 occasions in the Premier League – more than any other fixture in the competition. However, there has been a clean sheet in the last two meetings (one each); the last time this fixture went three successive games without both teams scoring was back in December 1991 (a run of four, league only).
- Tottenham have dropped 37 points from leading positions in Premier League games against Arsenal – more than any team has against another in the competition’s history.
- Arsenal have won more Premier League London derbies away from home (52) and in total (121) than any other side in the competition.
- Harry Kane has scored 21 goals in 32 Premier League London derby matches, averaging 0.66 goals per game. Of players to have played 20+ London derbies in the Premier League, only Thierry Henry has a better ratio (0.73 – 43 goals in 59 apps).
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan has assisted three goals in 120 minutes of Premier League action for Arsenal so far; the same tally that Alexis Sanchez managed in 1507 minutes of action for the Gunners in 2017-18.
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
The match kicks off at 1:30 on Saturday, with live television coverage available on BT Sport in the UK.