Paul Merson says Tottenham ahead Heung-Min Son’s absence from the north London derby – reside on Sky Sports activities on Tremendous Sunday – provides Arsenal an enormous benefit as either side look to land a big blow within the race for the Premier League’s high 4.
The north London rivals face off in a sport which might go a way in the direction of deciding who finishes fourth and qualifies for the Champions League subsequent season. The Gunners sit two factors above Tottenham, however Antonio Conte’s workforce have two video games in hand and a win on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would see Spurs go above their neighbours.
Nevertheless, Spurs will be without Son, who’s more likely to be out of motion for the remainder of the month after selecting up a muscle damage in his facet’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea within the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
Former Arsenal participant Merson thinks the Korean, who has scored 9 objectives thus far this season and likewise has 5 objectives in his final eight video games towards Arsenal in all competitions, can be an enormous miss.
Learn on for the Magic Man’s verdict on this Sunday’s north London derby…
Reside Renault Tremendous Sunday
Sunday sixteenth January 4:00pm
‘An enormous sport; Arsenal cam make massive assertion with win’
This can be a large sport.
Tottenham have video games in hand within the race for fourth and in the event that they beat Arsenal they are going to be above them and have these video games in hand to return. That will be a extremely robust place to be in.
Nevertheless, if Arsenal can go to Spurs and win it will be a significant end result for the Gunners.
You have to say Arsenal [have improved more this season]. They have been backside of the league going into the worldwide break. It was their worst begin to the season in who is aware of how lengthy, however now they’re proper within the combine for Champions League qualification. They’re within the high 4 race, which they need to be anyway, however after the beginning they’d truthful play to them.
Tottenham’s key fixtures…
- Arsenal (A) – Sunday Jan 16; kick-off 4.30pm (reside on Sky)
- Leicester (A) – Wednesday Jan 19; kick-off 7.30pm
- Chelsea (A) – Sunday Jan 23; kick-off 4.30 (reside on Sky)
- Wolves (H) – Sunday Feb 13; kick-off 2pm
- Man Metropolis (A) – Saturday Feb 19; kick-off 5.30pm (reside on Sky)
- Manchester United (A) – Saturday Mar 12; kick-off 3pm
- West Ham (H) – Saturday Mar 19; kick-off 3pm
- Brighton (H) – Saturday Apr 16; kick-off 3pm
- Leicester (H) – Saturday Apr 30; kick-off 3pm
- Liverpool (A) – Saturday Might 7; kick-off 3pm
Arsenal’s key fixtures…
- Tottenham (A) – Sunday Jan 16; kick-off 4.30pm (reside on Sky)
- Wolves (A) – Thursday Feb 10; kick-off 7.45pm
- Leicester (H) – Saturday March 12; kick-off 3pm
- Brighton (H), Saturday April 9; kick-off 3pm
- Manchester United (H), Saturday April 23; kick-off 3pm
- West Ham (A) – Saturday April 30; kick-off 3pm
- Chelsea (A) – TBC
- Liverpool (H), TBC.
It is a massive turnaround from Mikel Arteta and his facet, however they now have to hold it on.
I believed the Nottingham Forest sport was a giant sport and I solely say that as a result of it retains the squad blissful. It provides the perimeter gamers one other sport and makes Arteta’s job simpler. He was fuming after the sport as a result of now he is aware of it’s exhausting work. He’ll have the perimeter gamers at all times asking why they aren’t enjoying and earlier than, he had the cup video games to play these gamers in.
It was a nasty end result for Arsenal as a result of they’re solely enjoying as soon as per week anyway. The very last thing they need is two-week breaks. They need to be enjoying soccer now.
‘Carabao Cup defeat at Chelsea not so dangerous for Conte’
For Antonio Conte and Spurs, I believed the Chelsea defeat within the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final was a superb end result. It would sound foolish, however I believed it was the kind of end result that may kick-start the board into some motion the place they appear and say ‘we want some gamers as a result of are 1,000,000 miles away right here’.
They have been most likely considering they have been high quality. That they had an ideal supervisor, they have been successful video games they usually perhaps thought they won’t have to purchase anybody. However now, Chelsea eased previous them after which they struggled towards Morecambe [in the FA Cup], and now they’re considering they’ve to purchase some gamers.
In that sense, that is why I do not suppose that Chelsea defeat was such a nasty end result for Conte. I would say a nasty end result for Spurs and the followers, however a superb end result for Conte as a result of now he can usher in some gamers.
Smith’s Tottenham verdict…
Sky Sports activities’ Alan Smith assesses Spurs’ possibilities of a top-four end:
“Antonio Conte has achieved rather a lot in a really quick area of time at Tottenham.
“There may be nonetheless loads of work to do at Spurs however by way of the quick time period repair, Conte has gone about it cleverly with a purpose to give him a while. As he stated after the defeat to Chelsea within the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, he wants time and persistence with a purpose to overhaul that workforce and get it again to what it was at occasions below Mauricio Pochettino.
“I feel there are just a few extra questions marks within the beginning line-up than there’s inside West Ham and Arsenal. The defence can actually be improved by way of particular person high quality and he mixes and matches at occasions in midfield, however they do have an ideal three-man strike power.
“Conte has bought his work minimize out, although. To complete fourth could be a unbelievable achievement for the Italian.
“Conte would be the key for Spurs if they’re to get into the highest 4. You’d think about he has funds to enhance the squad in any other case he would not have taken the job. So, it will likely be attention-grabbing to see what occurs in January after which in the summertime and what sort of participant he goes for.
“It was a sobering efficiency from Spurs towards Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and it perhaps made him realise the job is even larger than he thought.”
‘North London derby massive once more’
The north London derby has as soon as once more turn into one of many high video games. It is a massive sport once more now.
Years in the past, I feel Arsene Wenger modified the context of the north London derby as a result of Arsenal have been too profitable, and Spurs weren’t a giant fish in any respect. Manchester United and Chelsea have been the video games for Arsenal.
However now we’re again to this sport being enormous as a result of whereas each golf equipment aren’t title contenders, they’re at an identical degree and striving to go to the highest degree once more.
If you cannot win the title, end within the high 4 or win a cup, a win within the north London derby is 100 per cent minimal requirement for Arsenal or Spurs.
That is the place the 2 groups have gone lately. That is the cup closing for each Spurs and Arsenal.
It is a large sport for either side. As I stated, if Spurs win and with their video games in hand, you’d suppose they’d be exhausting to catch. Nevertheless, if Arsenal go there and get an announcement win it will be enormous.
They already beat them on the Emirates Stadium so a win would see them do the double over Spurs and, take away the Nottingham Forest end result, you’d take a look at Arsenal and say they’re shifting ahead. They’re going someplace.
Smith’s Arsenal verdict…
Sky Sports activities’ Alan Smith assess Arsenal’s top-four possibilities:
“The Gunners look firmly within the combine for that final Champions League spot, particularly if they’ll sustain the extent of efficiency they confirmed towards Manchester Metropolis final outing.
“I did have my doubts about Mikel Arteta’s facet. It was apparent they have been enhancing below the Spaniard however as to whether or not they might clinch fourth was one other matter. Nevertheless, I feel the Man Metropolis efficiency, no matter the end result, gave each Arsenal fan and anyone concerned within the membership a substantial amount of confidence.
“Now, there isn’t any motive why they can not take a look at that fourth place and suppose they’re in with an ideal probability.
“What Arsenal might want to do is shed that tag of being flat-track bullies and present they’ll proceed to compete with the most effective, particularly with journeys to Spurs and Chelsea not distant.
“The indicators towards Metropolis have been very promising and the factor about Arsenal is there’s a stability about them by way of their workforce. Other than one or two locations perhaps you possibly can say what their finest workforce is and Arteta is managing that nicely.
“For the time being, they’ve not had too many accidents to key gamers and if they’ll maintain that each one collectively there’s a nice understanding between all of them. All people is aware of their particular person roles and that has to face them in good stead as we get into the ultimate phases of the season.”
‘Son’s absence enormous for Spurs’
Heung-Min Son’s absence is large.
I feel Arsenal win at Spurs as a result of Son is lacking. He is an enormous miss for Spurs, particularly on this sport. He has been Arsenal’s Achilles heel in latest seasons.
For me, Arsenal may have an excessive amount of going ahead for Spurs. If Tottenham play as they did final season [in a 2-0 home win in December 2020] and provides Arsenal all the ball, I feel the Gunners are a greater workforce this 12 months and may damage them.
Arsenal had all of the ball within the sport final season however by no means regarded like scoring. Now, although, the aptitude gamers are enjoying so a lot better for Arsenal than what they have been then, and that may very well be essential.
Mikel Arteta’s facet even have extra confidence this time round and if Spurs sit again, for me there is just one winner.
Watch Tottenham vs Arsenal reside on Sky Sports activities Premier League from 4.15pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm