Sunday 22 September 2019

Arsenal v Tottenham talking points

Will Arsene Wenger put his faith in Arsenal's record signing Alexandre Lacazette this weekend?
Will Arsene Wenger put his faith in Arsenal's record signing Alexandre Lacazette this weekend?

Arsenal host Tottenham on Saturday in the first north London derby of the season and with both sides in need of three points to boost their Premier League title hopes.

Mauricio Pochettino's side make the short journey on the back of victories over Real Madrid and Crystal Palace before the international break, while the Gunners lost at Manchester City.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the main talking points ahead of the meeting.

Wenger needs a win against the big boys

Arsenal lost heavily at Liverpool in August before their 3-1 reverse at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month, and Arsene Wenger will be eyeing victory over a fellow top-six side.

They showed their mettle to earn a goalless draw at Chelsea in September but questions remain about their credentials against their rivals.

Wenger will be wanting a performance similar to the one his side produced to beat Chelsea 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium 14 months ago to answer some of his critics and fire his side back into the fight for the top four.

Good and bad news for Spurs on the injury front

A trio of Spurs players missed England's two friendlies over the international break through injury but Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Harry Winks were all welcomed back to training on Thursday.

Captain Hugo Lloris also missed the France games but the goalkeeper is expected to return in time to line up against Arsenal.

However, they have been dealt a blow after Pochettino confirmed on Thursday that a hamstring injury would keep defender Toby Alderweireld out until the new year.

Wenger needs to show his trust in Lacazette

Arsenal's club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette has completed 90 minutes on just one occasion since his summer arrival from Lyon.

The France striker was named on the bench in the losses at Liverpool and Manchester City and came on to score the consolation goal in the latter fixture.

Speaking ahead of the visit of Spurs, Wenger said he trusted Lacazette and now - with fellow forward Olivier Giroud out injured - he needs to show that faith in his compatriot.

Time for Pochettino to end barren spell across town

Tottenham have not won at the Emirates Stadium in almost seven years.

Harry Redknapp was the last Spurs boss to head back to White Hart Lane with three points following an enthralling 3-2 win back in November 2010.

Some Tottenham sides have come close since but, if they are to prove the apparent power shift in north London is not to be a short-term one, a rare victory would go a long way to doing so.

The Spurs boss also needs to improve his overall away record

Since taking charge at Tottenham in the summer of 2014, Pochettino has only tasted victory once at the home of a top-six rival.

He is winless at Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea and his solitary away victory came with a 2-1 win at Manchester City in 2016.

While there have been plenty of plaudits for Pochettino's side in recent years - as well as some impressive home results against the same opposition - there remain questions over Tottenham's ability to beat the big boys in their own back yard.

PA Media

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