Match Preview: Arsenal v Spurs (what a hectic weekend it will be)

Match Preview: Arsenal v Spurs (what a hectic weekend it will be)

Venue: Emirates Stadium, Sunday at 4.30pm

This is going to be one heck of a weekend. Not just for Spurs, but for me personally. On Saturday, I am going to the Joshua/ Usyk fight, and we are allowed to go in at 5pm. Other matches are on the bill, and the primary bout should take place about 10ish. Before that, I’ve got to find somewhere to park (that will be a headache). After the fight, I should get home at about two in the morning. Then I will have to get up at about 8.30 as I am going to London/ Arsenal game, but before that (at 12) a group of friends and I are going for a meal. Lucky for me, my daughter is having my dog for the weekend. I am going to be knackered. I think the last time I did a two day event was when Spurs had one of those two day tournaments at White Hart Lane/ Wembley all those years back (in the 90s). This meant that I arrived on Saturday morning, went home at night, next day same procedure. Then I was younger, now I am retired, decrepit and knackered (age can do that to you!). But to Sunday’s match.

We’ve had an up and down season so far; three victories, a draw, two losses and a cup win (just). At one time, we were at the top of the league, while Arsenal languished at the bottom, and we all laughed at the Gooners. They seem to have hit form lately, and we’ve dived a bit in the league. If Arsenal win, they go level on points with us, and we will probably sink further down the pecking order. However, if we win, we could go fourth (depending on other results) and keep close to the pack at the top. A lot of “ifs”.

Spurs: WLDLW (Arsenal: WLWWW)

As I said above, the Gooners appear to have turned the corner, while our strong opening seems to have dissipated. We have suffered back-to-back 3-0 league defeats (letting in 6 goals).

First, we slipped up against Palace (which included Japhet Tanganga getting a red card), held to a draw by Rennes in our first Europa Conference League clash, and then suffered a damaging defeat at home to our adversaries, Chelsea, on Sunday.

We had an excellent first half in the Chelsea game against Tommy Tickles Russkie boys and had looked to have interrupted the Russian bears usually tranquil backline. However, our failure to capitalise on our solid first-half performance came back to haunt us as we were simply torn apart after the interval. We were lambs to the slaughter, and a three-nil slaughter at that. Tommy Tickle showed his tactical skills, as he did against Liverpool when Chelsea had a man sent off and earned themselves a draw. Two goals in quick succession from Thiago Silva and N’Golo Kante secured their win just after the break, but if that two-goal lead wasn’t enough, Antonio Rudiger added a late third to rub further salt into our bleeding wounds.  As for Harry Kane, he was accused of putting in another flaccid display.

But are we now bouncing back? Harry Kane scored in midweek as the team raced into a two-goal lead against Wolves in the Carabao Cup, but then it suddenly looked like dark clouds had descended upon us as the Wolves came back with two goals of their own. We were then left relying on the lottery of a penalty shootout to secure passage to the next round.

Team news

Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura both remain doubts through injury, although Tanganga is available to return from suspension after missing Sunday’s defeat.

My predicted Lineup

Lloris; Tanganga, Romero, Dier, Reguilon; Hojberg, Skipp, Ndombele; Alli, Son, Kane

My thoughts and prediction

After two premier league defeats in a row, we need to bounce back, and Nuno needs to show what he is made off (tactically). Yes, we’ve got injures, but that is part and parcel of football. In our game against Palace, I believe we could have won if Nuno had put out an attacking side rather than a defending one. Granted, Tanganga’s sending off didn’t help or Dier’s injury, but the Lineup wasn’t there to defeat Palace in the first place. The Lineup against Chelsea was tactically better, but when Tommy Tickle jumped into action in the second half, Nuno didn’t know how to counter Tickles tactics (he had no tickle of his own). He is managing – allegedly – a top Premier team, not a lower-down struggling league club (like Wolves). Nuno needs to buck his ideas up and get into a higher gear.

Before the Wolves game, I wrote, “My Spurs heart says we will win, but I have a terrible feeling about this game and Arsenal’s on Sunday. It wouldn’t surprise me if the Wolves game goes to penalties and us being humiliated again. However, with my optimistic hat on, I shall go for a win (to us).” The game against Wolves ended in a penalty shootout but in our favour. I have concerns about our game against Arsenal, which is at their stadium. However, with my optimistic Spurs head-on (a bit Worzel Gummidge here), I shall say we will win the match 2-1. A worst-case scenario would be a draw (yes, I know, a worst-case scenario would be getting thrashed and humiliated by the Gooners… but I am not thinking that!).

Prediction: 1-2 (to us).

That is it, folks, into a hectic weekend of enjoyment, gluttony and exhaustion, I shall ride.  COYS!

Be safe, Glenn

A full account will be in my Match report (on Monday).

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