The North London derby returns this weekend and for the first time in a while, the Gunners are the favourites for the match. Why? Let’s find out.
Here are 5 reasons why Arsenal will beat Tottenham Hotspurs.
Arsenal excels at Wembley
Not only are Arsenal an irresistible force at the Emirates, they’re literally unplayable at Wembley. Manchester City and Chelsea have found that out in recent seasons, as the Gunners have played them both off the park at the biggest stadium in England.
Arsenal’s record at Wembley is atestament to winning the FA Cup in three out of the past five editions of the trophy. For as long as Tottenham play at Wembley, it will not be their ground and Arsenal will certainly capitalise on that.
Tottenham aren’t as tactically sound this season
Last season, Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham team were title contenders, this season they’re in a scrap for the top 4 places. In this campaign, they’re conceding more goals and they’re scoring fewer goals, equating to them already losing 7 games this season. In fact, Spurs have looked a shell of their former selves, struggling more than ever to break teams down. Last week at Anfield, they had to rely on poor refereeing decisions to salvage a 2-2 draw, this weekend they won’t be so lucky.
The Gunners are rejuvenated
Based on their 5-star performance against Everton last weekend, why wouldn’t Arsenal fans be confident? They played their best football of the season in that 5-1 win and never has the team looked more free-flowing. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang offered Arsenal the in-behind movement they’ve been lacking all season, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave Arsene Wenger the link-up play he’s been seeking. On their day, a front four of Alex Iwobi, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Mesut Özil& Henrikh Mkhitaryan could hurt any defence in the league, including Tottenham’s.
Alexis Sanchez is gone
The Chilean may be a world class player on paper, but in his final season for the Gunners, he was below-par. In 23 appearances for Arsenal this season, the 29-year-old only scored 8 goals. That’s not a tally befitting of a £500,000-a-week wage packet, neither does it make up for all the trouble he caused behind the scenes.
When Alexis Sanchez was announced as a Manchester United player, it’s quite telling that no Arsenal player say their goodbyes to him on social media. Why? Because he was a hindrance in the dressing room rather than an aid. Now, the Alexis Sanchez distraction has been taken care of and Arsenal football club can finally get back to winning ways.
Arsenal are now more tactically diverse
Last season, it took a great effort for Arsene Wenger to switch from a 4-2-3-1 to a 3-4-3. This season, the Frenchman has seamlessly rotated through different formations like the 4-2-3-1, 3-4-3, 3-4-2-1 and the 4-3-3. That willingness to be diverse means Arsenal are now prepared for every challenge that comes their way. Arsene Wenger no longer forces his players into a system, he picks his team based on the opponents.