Another classic Premier League rivalry beckons this weekend, as Arsenal play host to Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on the evening of Sunday 26 September 2021 at 4:30pm on SuperSport Premier League (DStv channel 203).
This edition of the London derby is sure to be another heated affair, with the mutual enmity between these clubs running very deep. The early part of the season, which had Tottenham on top of the log and Arsenal at the bottom, will only serve to add further fuel to the fire.
After their difficult start to the season, former Arsenal player and current technical director at the club, Eduardo Gaspar [known as Edu], has called for unity: “We are where we never [want] to be. But we have to work to leave this situation,” said the former Arsenal fan favourite.
“There are some reasons why we are there, we have to accept that, we have to recognise the reasons. So now let’s put the team together, let’s play together and let’s see the team together because until now we haven’t had the opportunity to see the team. Let’s support them and be together.”
On Spurs, this will be a special occasion for Tottenham supporter and academy graduate Oliver Skipp, who has impressed since breaking into the first team.
“As a Spurs fan, I’ve been to the games, watched players in my position, tried to learn from them, to then be out there wearing that shirt means a lot, to my family, to me,” said ‘Skippy’.
“I remember thinking, ‘wow, this is what it means to everyone’ and what it means to me as well, growing up, you think of all those hours spent at the training ground trying to achieve that dream that, when you’re young, you think, ‘it’s never going to happen, but I’ve managed to achieve that dream, so it means a lot.”
Key players to watch
Though Arsenal have endured a tough start to the season, Bukayo Saka continues to be a source of joy and excitement for Gunners fans. The attacking midfielder has a creativity and aggression to his play that can unlock any defence, and the hosts for this clash will be hoping he sees plenty of the ball.
The Tottenham captain enjoys scoring against Arsenal more than any other team, and he would love to lead his charges to a victory at the Emirates Stadium. Kane will look to combine with the likes of Son Heung-min and Steven Bergwijn as Spurs chase a three-point haul in their arch rivals’ backyard.
In head-to-head stats, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have met in 203 matches across all competitions since their first clash back in 1896. The Gunners have claimed 83 wins compared to 66 for Spurs, while 54 games have been drawn.
The teams’ Premier League meetings last season both produced home wins: Tottenham won 2-0 in December 2020 thanks to goals from Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, but Arsenal claimed revenge with a 2- 1 triumph in March 2021 thanks to strikes from Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette.
Mikel Arteta vs Nuno Espirito Santo
Both managers are inherently conservative in their tactical approach, but if either can loosen the reins on the attacking talent available to them and be just a little bolder, it may yield the reward of a North London win.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Davinson Sanchez
Arsenal’s Gabonese striker has had a slow start to the
2021-22 campaign but still has the class to hurt any opponent. With that in mind, Spurs’ Davinson Sanchez will be tasked with keeping the prolific attacker under wraps.
Cedric Soares vs Steven Bergwijn
Tottenham’s Dutch winger has enjoyed a fine start to the season under his new manager and appears a revitalised player, but he’ll need to be at his best to get the better of Arsenal right-back Cedric Soares.