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MATCH PREVIEW

Tottenham vs Arsenal preview

A North London derby always provides the necessary tenacity and excitement as any derby should. El Clasico, Derby della Capitale or the Superclásico are among a few of the major showdowns between a nations two giants and Sunday’s fixture is, as always, going to be right up there with the game’s top encounters. This segment will provide an Arsenal fan’s preview of the Derby as Spurs fans get an insight into the thoughts and feelings of the Gunners camp in the days, and hours, leading to kick off….

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Winning back to back league games has become difficult for the Arsenal in 2011 and what better way to achieve that feat than to beat the rivals on their own patch. The win over Bolton last week will help boost the players’ confidence going into the match on Sunday as victory is important to keep alive our faint title hopes.

After conceding 12 goals in our last two away games the focus must surely be on the defence as a repeat of either game against Man Utd or Blackburn will not be accepted by the supporters. A scrappy 1-0 win would be perfect, though beating Spurs by any score line is good enough for me.

On to the game now and Tottenham will treat this match as their biggest of the season, as I highly doubt the Europa League will throw up any games bigger for them, and with the media backing them to triumph over a supposedly ‘weakened’ Arsenal side, their intentions will be to use former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor’s height and strength to their advantage so it’s important that our backline is alert throughout.

Should Theo Walcott and Gervinho return on Sunday then that’s a big boost as the Tottenham defence won’t be able to cope with the pace of movement of the two, throw Robin van Persie into the mix and I’m not sure if Ledley King’s knees will be able to cope.

The defence should see Sagna at right-back where he should come up against the highly overrated welsh winger Gareth Bale, I’m sure Bak will know Bale’s game is to push the ball forward and chase after it and he we need to be wary of the Welshman getting opposition players sent off.

The midfield battle is where I believe the game will be won or lost, want-away midfielder Luka Modric and Injury-Prone Scott Parker will go to battle against Alex Song, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey, with the man advantage we need to make it count , keep possession, and take advantage of any opportunities that arise.

Likely staring XI:

Szczensy, Sagna, Mertesacker, Kozzer, Gibbs, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho.

The previous meeting last April ended 3-3 after we threw away a two goal lead, I expect this match to be as exciting, but full faith in the gooners to win 3-1.

The Spurs opinion can be found here

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