Premier League - Arsenal vs Tottenham - Preview

Reuters

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With the final international break ahead of the World Cup concluded, Arsenal host Tottenham in the first North London derby of the 2022/23 Premier League season. 

Mikel Arteta's side currently sit top of the table following an impressive start to the season, while Antonio Conte's Spurs are in third, one of just two unbeaten teams along with last season's champions Manchester City and a point behind their rivals.

Prior to the international break, the Gunners ran out convincing 3-0 winners against Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium courtesy of goals from William Saliba, Gabriel Jesus and Fabio Vieira. 

It has been a season of significant improvement for Mikel Arteta's side, with 18 points taken from a possible 21. In addition, Arsenal have won their last six home games in the Premier League, their longest run since a successful spell between December 2018 and April 2019 (10 games).

This has lead legendary ex-boss Arsene Wenger to believe the Gunners are genuine contenders for the Premier League title this season.

The 72-year-old Frenchman told Sky Sports: “I would say they have a good chance [of winning the league] this season because I don’t see any super dominating team. I believe that it is a good opportunity to do it this season.

"Of course, it’s a little bit of a special season as well because you have the World Cup in the middle and you don’t know how much that will affect the performances of the individual players and of the

The club backed Mikel Arteta and Edu in the summer transfer window to usher in a new era at the Emirates and the club's latest acquisitions have certainly hit the ground running. 

In terms of their most recent battles against Tottenham, The Gunners have won their previous two home meetings and will be looking to make it three home wins in a row for the first time since 2013.

 

The North London derby is the fourth-highest scoring fixture in Premier League history (171 goals), however it remains to be seen how the tactical battle between Arteta and Conte will unfold on Saturday.

In terms of team news, Thomas Partey has been battling a knee problem but could make the starting XI. Takehiro Tomiyasu and Kieran Tierney both picked up knocks during the international break and are doubts for the derby. 

Martin Odegaard is expected to return to the side along with Olexandr Zinchenko, who was unavailable for Ukraine during the international break due to a calf problem. 

Arsenal Predicted Team:

Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Xhaka, Partey; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus

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Tottenham have enjoyed a positive start to the campaign after their first full pre-season under Antonio Conte. Spurs are yet to suffer defeat in the league, winning five and drawing two of their opening seven games. 

Last time out, Conte's side enjoyed their highest scoring fixture of the season in a 6-2 demolition of Leicester. The fixture also saw Son Heung-Min return to the scoresheet, notching an impressive hat-trick in just 13 minutes as a second half substitute. 

Spurs are currently in the midst of their second longest scoring streak against the Gunners, having scored at least once in each of their last 10 meetings with Arsenal in all competitions. 

Antonio Conte certainly enjoyed his first taste of the North London derby back in May, as Harry Kane's double and a third from Son Heung-Min earned a 3-0 victory over their fierce rivals, eventually pipping Arsenal to Champions League football.

Conte's side have not suffered an away league defeat for eight games, stretching back to a 3-2 loss at Manchester United in March.

Harry Kane is the North London derby's all-time leading goalscorer and will be hoping to create more magical moments come matchday:

 

Club captain Hugo Lloris, Lucas Moura and Ben Davies have all been dealt with injury issues during the international break.

Fraser Forster could come into the side if France's No. 1 is unavailable for selection, while Conte will once again be tasked with deciding whether Richarlison, who was on target against Tunisia in Brazil's 5-1 victory at the Parc des Princes, will be given a starting role.

Tottenham Hotspur Predicted Team:

Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Perisic, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son


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