thinking this might be the time that Spurs can break their
hoodoo at Highbury, as the team are on the same points as
Arsenal, with the Gooners shading third place on goal
difference. As we have seen against Chelsea and
Manchester United, if Tottenham slip below their best, then
they will get punished by the top sides.
If Spurs had
Modric and Lennon in the team, then I would be more
confident of finally winning at Highbury for the first time
in 14 years, but Robbie Keane's comments about Tottenham
having the better squad of the two clubs is a little
premature and one which will fire the home side up ...
something that the Spurs captain needn't have done.
When they are
on song, Arsenal pass the ball very well and can open up
defences with some good movement, but if they are having an
off day or if, as on Saturday, they may be hit by injuries,
then there is a window of opportunity to nick some points
options limited for Spurs, the Keane-Crouch partnership will
be implemented, but it did not click against Stoke and at
some stage Pav will be thrown into the game. Palacios
is crucial in midfield, but an early booking might limit his
effectiveness, as was shown against Man U.
Huddlestone's passing might create the chances for Spurs,
but Jenas is perhaps more likely to return, if fit, as he
gives a box-to-box presence and has a good scoring rate in
this fixture. For all some fans dislike of JJ, Spurs
do seem to function better when he plays and he is not
afraid to keep wanting the ball. In games such as
this, we cannot afford to carry players who hide.
makes Arsenal tick and ensuring he has little time on the
ball will restrict his influence on the game, but there are
others who can make it difficult for Tottenham.
Bendtner is not a high percentage striker, but given enough
chances, he will stick one away, so if Woody is fit, he
needs to be on his toes to keep him under wraps, while it is
hoped Ledley is over his illness to start, as the pairing is
the best the club has at the back, although Bassong has been
quietly getting on with his job without putting in too many
At the back,
the Gooners will have to pick between Mannone, who had a
little bit of a mare at West Ham United last week and
Almunia, who has been out of favour. He will have bad
memories of last year's 4-4 draw and hopefully, he will get
the opportunity to rekindle them on Saturday.
back four will be much changed from the League Cup win over
Liverpool, but how they handle Crouch will be interesting to
see. For all their experience, it is not often you
come up against a striker like Peter. Gibbs and Clichy
are favoured by Wenger as the full backs, but he still
perseveres with Eboue, despite his poor performances and his
diving. But then what the eyes don't see, the heart
don't grieve about.
progressed, but are still about breaking even on the same
games from last season, so need to continue that at least.
If Tottenham are able to get their players available for
selection and play to their potential, it will only be the
referee who stops them being able to achieve a draw ...
- Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspur
For more information on
the opponents and their history, including full result history of
matches between the two teams, click