An Honest Assesment Of Tottenham Hotspur Ahead Of The North London Derby

Much to the frustration of Arsenal fans, Tottenham are enjoying their most successful season for a long time and are beginning to look like Premier League favourites.

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Despite getting knocked out of the FA Cup in early February, the North London side are fighting hard in the Europa League and look set to challenge for the title right up until the final day.

And for reasons such as this, Arsene Wenger’s side will be playing one of the most important derbies in history, with both sides desperate for all three points.

Both of these clubs suffered upset in mid-week, allowing Leicester City to stay at the summit of the top flight with just ten games left to play.

Tottenham really do look stronger than ever and they’ll take on a Gunners squad that have confessed to lacking self-confidence when trying to pick up vital points.

Premier League Form: WWWWL

Having collected 12 points from a possible 15 in their last five games, it’s fair to say Spurs aren’t continuing the tradition of crashing out of the race in February.

Their mid-week defeat to West Ham is their first in eight games and leaves them three points behind current leaders Leicester, who also dropped points.

Tottenham, however, have looked shaky in the last few weeks, after returning to Europa League football they are beginning to feel the full pressure of fixtures piling up.

They went 1-0 down to Swansea before some contentious decisions allowed them to snatch a win, and in mid-week, they failed to pose any real threat at West Ham.

But if you’re reading this you’ll know better than anyone that form goes out of the window when it comes down to a North London derby.

Emotions from the fans and players always play a part in this fixture, and with the way Arsenal are playing you can hardly predict which way this contest is going to go.

Top Goalscorer: Harry Kane (19 goals)

Following a breakout campaign with his side last year, the Englishman has proven his doubters that he’s not a one-season wonder.

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After scoring the winner at White Hart Lane last year, Kane has North London derby goals in his blood, and will be desperate to get on the scoresheet on Saturday afternoon.

He’s a creative attacker and his best asset in my eyes is his vision, and that could spell trouble for Per Mertesacker if he is chosen over the possibly injured Laurent Koscielny.

We all know what Kane can do and where he will be itching to get involved is in the air, with backup goalkeeper David Ospina often a liability when it comes to defending corners.

The last time Kane grabbed a goal from open play was February 2nd, so his personal form isn’t looking too brilliant at the moment.

But that doesn’t mean he’s not a threat because working alongside his wingers the striker is a perfect pivot point to hold the ball up and feed into the wingers.

Most Assists: Christian Eriksen (8)

Whether he be taking set pieces or dancing on the edge of the area, Eriksen is a fundamental part of Tottenham’s attacking play.

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Consistent and willing to put in a fight, the 24-year-old has picked up 87 appearances for the club whilst netting 23 goals since arriving back in 2013.

Eriksen has the ability to play on the left and right side of midfield, but he manages to control the central attacking midfield so well, just like Mesut Ozil.

His vision is second to none and can rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to free-kicks, which Ospina will have to be aware of when it comes to our defence.

But with Francis Coquelin to deal with, Eriksen won’t have it all his way on Saturday and if Arsenal play with men behind the ball then it’ll be difficult to see any way through.

One To Watch: Hugo Lloris (Goalkeeper)

Arsenal’s recent record when it comes to finishing off chances won’t be handed much of a boost with Lloris in between the sticks.

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The goalkeeper stands as arguably one of the top three in the Premier League and has been crucial to his side not dropping points this season.

Olivier Giroud doesn’t have a goal in nine games now, and his French team-mate will be eager to ensure that run continues.

Dynamic and dedicated to keeping a clean sheet, Lloris is a huge factor in keeping Tottenham’s defensive record positive and has just enough experience in this fixture to do so.

He’ll be busy all afternoon with Arsenal desperate to get three points, so it will be a case of endurance goalkeeping from the Frenchman, something that he hasn’t been used to this season.

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