Arsenal v Tottenham
bet365 match odds: Arsenal 13/8, Draw 13/5, Tottenham 7/4
Will Arsenal’s 18-match unbeaten record survive when they lock horns with fierce north London rivals Tottenham at the Emirates on Sunday?
This tie is arguably the sternest test of Unai Emery’s quiet Arsenal revolution since the losses to Manchester City and Chelsea in the opening two games of the campaign.
Those two early setbacks in August remain the only defeats of Emery’s embryonic Premier League managerial career.
Most recently the Gunners drew 1-1 with Liverpool, pegging back the Reds in their hitherto neck-to-neck duel with Manchester City at the top. The result underlined the progress Arsenal are making.
However, the north London derby is special and presents a different kind of challenge. It is a battle within the Premier League war, a fight for bragging rights.
How well Arsenal acquit themselves against their highly motivated adversary will serve as a gauge of how far they have come under their new manager.
It's the second successive derby for Spurs who outclassed Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley last Saturday. Mauricio Pochettino’s men followed that up with a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in midweek to keep their slim chances of qualifying for the Champions League Round of 16 alive.
Meanwhile, Arsenal overcame the inconvenience of a late venue change for their Europa League clash with Vorskla Poltava to record a resounding 3-0 win in Kiev on Thursday night.
Although they played a day later than Spurs, the Gunners will have the advantage of freshness over their fierce city rivals.
With Arsenal having already secured their place to the knockout stage, Emery made 11 changes to the side that beat Bournemouth last Sunday, opting to keep his first-team regulars fresh for the derby.
By contrast, faced with a win-or-bust situation, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino put out his strongest available starting XI for the clash with Inter Milan.
How much did the intense midweek performance take out of Spurs players?
We will discover on Sunday.
A win will see Tottenham consolidate third place and temporarily move level on points with second-placed Liverpool, who play Everton later on the same day.
Unai Emery is set to make wholesale changes and name a completely different starting XI to the one that beat Vorskla on Thursday.
The youngsters and fringe players who featured in Ukraine are all expected to defer to the regulars as Emery gets a taste of his first north London derby.
Pochettino could restore Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier and Son Heung-Min to the starting line- up after the trio dropped to the bench against Inter.
Jan Vertonghen looks set to continue in central defence alongside Toby Alderweireld after returning to the fold in midweek following a long lay off.
Moussa Dembele, Davinson Sanchez and Kieran Trippier remain sidelined, but fit-again Danny Rose could feature after being named in the matchday squad on Wednesday.
Harry Kane to score first @ 4/1 Betfair
Tottenham to win @ 7/4 bet365
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