The North London Derby is the date that everybody circles when the Premier League schedule releases. The Arsenal-Tottenham rivalry is the best in the division. The Gunners hold the all-time, head-to-head lead — 83W, 54D, 66L. But Spurs have gotten the better of Arsenal lately — 3W, 2D, 1L over the last three seasons. And because who doesn’t love more stats and records, that recent win is Tottenham’s only one away to Arsenal in their last 28 attempts at the Emirates and Highbury before that (1W, 11D, 16L).
It’s Mikel Arteta’s first NLD in charge that will have fans in the ground and Gooners first chance to see a NLD in-person in more than two years, since September 2019. It’s going to be quite the atmosphere at the Emirates.
I generally throw form out the window when it comes to derbies, but Arsenal are the form team right now. To the extent you can call consecutive 1-0 wins over the 19th and 20th place clubs in the table “in form” that is. Spurs started the season hot but are coming off back-to-back 3-0 humblings against Crystal Palace and Chelsea. According to our friend Scott Willis, Tottenham and Arsenal have played the 5th and 6th most difficult schedules in the Premier League so far this season.
An Arsenal win today draws the Gunners level on points with their cross-London rivals.
Today, I’ll be watching the midfield battle. I think the Arsenal attack should be able to get the better of a shaky Tottenham defense, but Thomas Partey (either by himself, with a partner, or with Martin Ødegaard dropping deep) need to be able to get the ball forward and to the attackers. If Arsenal don’t control the middle third, it’s going to be a long afternoon. And they struggled to do that at times against Burnley last weekend.
There’s plenty of Short Fuse North London Derby content for you to check out while you wait for kickoff Sunday morning. Nathan did his usual predicted XI, Aaron chatted with Sean from Carty Free (the Spurs blog) — there are Q&A’s about Spurs and about Arsenal on the opposing site, respectively.
Shockingly, Arsenal have no injuries or illnesses heading into today’s match. Knock on wood that it stays that way. Mohamed Elneny was the only doubt coming out of last weekend, but he’s recovered quicker than expected from his hamstring problem and should make the substitutes’ bench.
Spurs will be without left back / left wing Ryan Sessegnon, who misses out with a hamstring problem, and Steve Bergwijn, who has an ankle injury. Lucas Moura is back in training but his ankle may not be fit enough to play.
Arsenal - Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, Gabriel, White, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Ødegaard, Smith Rowe, Aubameyang
Tottenham - Lloris, Tanganga, Sanchez, Dier, Reguilon, Ndombele, Hojbjerg, Alli, Moura, Son, Kane
✊ Your North London Derby XI. pic.twitter.com/MsUrstgozT— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 26, 2021
WHAT: Arsenal vs. Tottenham
WHERE: The Emirates
WHEN: Sunday, September 26th 8:30 am PT | 11:30 am ET | 4:30 pm BT
US TV: NBCSN and UNIVERSO. Streaming on FuboTV ($$$) and NBCSports.com (TV provider login).
For all your international streaming needs, check LiveSoccerTV.com. As always, please do not share or discuss links to illegal streams here.