4 Key Battles That Could Decide the Hotly Anticipated North London Derby on Saturday

Tottenham and Arsenal go up against each other in the highly anticipated North London Derby on Saturday at Spurs’ temporary ground Wembley. Both teams will be hoping for three points as well as bragging rights. 

Tottenham’s rivarly with Arsenal provides all that a derby should: season-defining battles, two sets of fans with the utmost hate for each other and an insufferable proximity between the two grounds. (Aside from this season when Spurs play at Wembley!) 

Spurs beat Manchester United in their last home Premier League match, whilst Arsenal beat Everton 5-1 at home. There are only four points separating them in the Premier League with Spurs in fifth and Arsenal in sixth. 

Here are four key battles that could decide the match at Wembley Stadium…

1. Harry Kane vs Laurent Koscienly

Harry Kane, currently in the form of his life, will be looking to improve on his impressive record against arch rivals Arsenal. He has scored six goals in six appearances, only failing to score in one of those games – the 2-0 defeat at the Emirates in November. 

Koscienly will be keeping two eyes on the striker at all times to prevent him improving his record against Arsenal. However, Koscienly will have to be at his best with Kane having the ability to determine the outcome of this game single-handedly.

His hold up play and movement around the pitch is second-to-none, he has the ability to eliminate opposing players from situations making way for one of his teammates to score. 

2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Jan Vertonghen

Arsenal’s new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be hoping to continue scoring goals for his new club after making his debut and scoring in the 5-1 win against Everton. Aubameyang has proven himself as a fine finisher last season with Borussia Dortmund, but he also has lightening quick pace. His pace provides him with versitiatly as he could play out wide in front of a three or as a lone striker. 

Aubameyang has scored four goals in four previous appearances against Tottenham with the latest coming in Dortmund’s 2-1 defeat against Spurs in the Champions League. He also scored in the 3-1 away defeat at Wembley but was wrongly ruled offside. 

Vertonghen, who has been on fine form for his club this season will be looking to stop Aubameyang in improving that record. 

3. Christian Eriksen vs Mesut Ozil

The battle of the creative maestros. 

Christian Eriksen will be hoping to win this midfield battle on home soil against Mesut Ozil, in what proves to be one of the most exciting clashes in this game. 

Eriksen has scored seven goals so far for his club this season in comparison to Ozil’s four goals, however, Ozil has assisted one more goal than Eriksen on seven assists. 

The German international Ozil’s stats prove to be better than Eriksens’. According to The Sun Oil has a better record in chances created with 70 against Eriksen’s 63 and a passing success rate of 87.3% against Eriksen’s 81.9%. 

4. Arsene Wenger vs Mauricco Pochettino

Wenger vs Poch – the touchline battle. 

This game depends on the tactics of each manager and how well it is implemented in such a big game. This is exactly where the game is won or lost. 

Pochettino has usually got his team selection right, whereas Wenger may not always start with the right team but they both tend to still produce the results. 

The North London derby is the perfect advertisement for English football, containing attacking football, ground-shaking atmosphere and unpredictability – and this Saturday should prove no different. 


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