I can’t remember the last time that happened. The last time when our encounter with them actually decides when St Totteringham day is. A win today for Arsenal would make the 13 points gap unassailable even if Spurs do end up winning the rest of their games. Not that I would mind that happening considering Chelsea is included in one of those fixtures at White Hart Lane.
For us to win the league this season, we’re not only fighting against teams on the pitch or fighting to keep our players fit; but also fighting against the refereeing incompetency. Yesterday Chelsea won 1-0 against Bolton but the match could’ve easily finish victorious for Jack Wilshere’s side. 2 blatant hand balls inside the penalty area and both were not picked up by the referee. Add that to the fact that John Terry should not even be playing this game after his wild knee-high lunge at James Milner last Saturday, and you can see what Arsenal is up against. Things like this just makes things harder.
Alex Song will once again be out of service for us and his absence does make the midfield look a bit light. Denilson does have his task cut out for him tonight as the defensive shield in front of the back four, though it is several notches below those that he faced a week ago. Robin Van Persie is obviously in the squad but will have to make do with a place on the bench. I reckoned Eboue will also get to start this game with Walcott coming off the bench once everyone’s legs start to tire. With that, this is how I suspect we will line up tonight;
This being a North London Derby and the big news is bound to be the return of Sol Campbell on his old playground. Even after 8 years of making the switch to the better London team, Spurs fan will not forget that defection. I don’t think that Campbell will be too pleased about it but as an experienced head, the taunts from the stands will not affect him one bit. Against the likes of Peter Crouch, Campbell would be an invaluable asset tonight. He will need to win all headers from the England international and by doing that effectively snuff out one of Spurs’ option of going forward tonight.
Samir Nasri once again gets a chance in midfield to show that there is life without Fabregas. He looked out of place at Nou Camp and a return to his performance against Porto would be most welcomed. The pressing game that Barcelona played will not happen here and even if it did, I don’t think Spurs can do it for the entire game. Together with Diaby, they are entrusted to make things happen for us tonight. Without Palacios in their midfield, both may yet get the kind of space to work with that they crave for.
I do think Spurs owe us a real beating. No, the 3-0 cannot be considered a beating. I’m talking more along the lines of 5-0 or 6-0. That would be a great way to shut the noises that are emanating from the other side of North London. That kind of result would put them back in place and not even think that they have closed the gap between us and them. If Portsmouth can put 2 past them, we surely can do better.
No place better to win. Come on you Gunners!!! Till tomorrow.