Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Who will earn the bragging rights in North London?

Arsenal host their arch-rivals Tottenham in Saturday's early kick-off in the seasons first north London derby.

Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Who will earn the bragging rights in North London?
Toby Alderweireld will miss Saturday's crunch match. (Photo:Getty Images/Shaun Botterill)

It is the game in which all Arsenal and Tottenham fans look for when the fixtures are released - but who will earn the bragging rights on Saturday?

Spurs sit firmly eight points behind the league leaders Manchester City, Arsenal even further behind as they chase the four-point gap on arch-rivals Spurs.

The Gunners go into the game on the back of a 3-1 defeat away to title favourites city, with Tottenham scraping a 1-0 victory over bottom side Crystal Palace

Shift in power?

Over the past decade, it has to be noticed that Tottenham have been on the ascendance - their league position has dramatically improved in this time. Meanwhile, rivals Arsenal have seemed to stagnate as Spurs quickly began to close the gap. 

It has been especially close in the past two seasons, with Arsenal just clinching second spot ahead of Spurs in the 2015/16 season on the very last day of the season. Whereas, last season the Lilywhite's finished comfortably ahead of their rivals with an 11 point cushion. 

Saturday's hosts' haven't won a north London derby now in the past six attempts - their longest spell without a victory. However, Tottenham have never tasted victory at the Emirates Stadium since 2010 when they cameback from a two goal deficit.

 

Wenger denies being underdogs

In the Frenchman's press conference, when asked whether his side are the underdogs going into Saturday's derby.

Arsene Wenger said: 'No. Not at all. Spurs are a good side - but we have the quality.'

He even had a little dig at their north London rivals, when it was said: 'For a long time your team were the dominant one in north London...'

Wenger muttered: 'For 20 years.' 

 

Arsenal fear the Kane

Striker Harry Kane is no stranger when it comes to a north London derby. Despite his age, the Englishman is on the verge of being the first player to score in six consecutive north London derbies.

Kane is not the only in-form striker to potentially feature in Saturday's clash, Alexandre Lacazette is showing promising signs of living up to his hefty price tag. The Frenchman has already bagged himself six league goals this season - only two behind Kane. 

Team News

Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, confirmed that striker Olivier Giroud will miss the derby on Saturday due to a knee injury that he picked up during international duty with France.

Meanwhile, Danny Welbeck and Shkodran Mustafi face late fitness tests as both race to return after lengthy spells out with injuey. 

Tottenham Hotspur

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to be able to choose from Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks and captain Hugo Lloris as all face last-minute fitness tests after missing international duty with injury concerns. 

Despite the optimism surround the quartet, the Argentine confirmed that defender Toby Alderweireld is likely to sit out until after christmas after sustaining a hamstring injury again Real Madrid