Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger, will be pleased that his side managed to grind out a win against out-of-sorts Aston Villa last week.
It was a much needed morale boost for the Emirates outfit after being ousted from the FA Cup and then humiliated on their home ground against a clearly superior Bayern Munich side.
But the real test will come on Sunday against age-old rivals Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. Spurs will surely be anxious to exact some revenge for the 5-2 pasting they received at the hands of Arsenal on November 12 of last year, while The Gunners will be out to prove their superiority in north London.
Spurs have been in good form of late with Gareth Bale performing particularly impressively, scoring eight in the last six games for Tottenham and snatching the win in the dying minutes of their match against West Ham on Monday to put them ahead of Chelsea on the table.
Both Arsenal and Tottenham have been in fine form in the last five Premier League game weeks with The Gunners winning four and drawing one and Tottenham winning three and drawing two. And the fixture on Saturday is sure to be a tightly contested affair.
The Arsenal defence has been criticised harshly recently, and rightly so. Their FA Cup exit came as a result of not being able to mark and keep out the attacks of a lower tier team in Blackburn Rovers and Bayern Munich poked holes in The Gunners defence seemingly at will during their Champions League visit to the Emirates.
Arsenal started the season fairly well in terms of defensive displays and the newly appointed Steve Bould looked to be the solution to their defensive woes. But it didn’t last very long and the uncertainty at the back along with basic mistakes crept into the Emirates back four once again. The departure of Alex Song and the inability of Arsenal tactician Arsene Wenger to sign a suitable replacement in a defensive midfielder also didn’t help the poor defensive situation.
Tottenham, although perhaps not as pitiable at the back as their north London rivals, are certainly not far from it. Their poor efforts at the back against West Ham on Monday serve as proof of a similar mediocrity in defence. Spurs conceded two easy goals while there were more than one occasion of near own goals by Tottenham defenders.
That being said, the two north London clubs are two of the most exciting teams to watch when they go on the offensive and that’s what’ll ensure an extremely exciting game come Saturday.
The in-form Gareth Bale, the quick-footed Aaron Lennon, the exciting Gylfi Siggurdson and of course the man who always causes problems for Arsenal, ex-Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor, will be well matched by the likes of the relentless Jack Wilshere, the electrifying little Spaniard Santi Cazorla, the blindingly quick Theo Walcott and the unpredictable and aerial expert Olivier Giroud.
Realistically, there are now two Champions League qualifying spots that will be fought over tooth and nails in the remaining weeks. Spurs are now two points ahead of Chelsea and four ahead of Arsenal and their match against Arsenal on Saturday is sure to be a telling fixture and will give a good indication of who’s going to end up where, come game week 38.
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