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Preview: Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspurs

After a week of hiatus for international action, the Premier League returns with a bang as the top and third team in the table are set to clash in a heated derby.

It’s not a secret that Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have no love lost between them, so they will leave it all out on the pitch to claim the bragging rights in North London.

After seven rounds of Premier League matches, Arsenal top the league table with six wins under their belt.

The Gunners have been ruthless against their oppositions this season, but losing to Manchester United, the only ‘’Big Six’’ team they have faced so far, has led sceptics to believe it’s yet another false dawn for the club, which did not win the league since 2003.

But labeling Arsenal’s brilliant start to the season would be harsh on Mikel Arteta’s men.

They showed great character last season to bounce back from losing their first three matches in the season to go on a fantastic run and finish fifth in the table.

At one point, they were favourites to get into the top four, but a poor run of results and some crucial injuries prolonged their Champions League exile.

Arsenal have brought in some great reinforcements in the summer transfer window that have enabled them to play the high-possession, high-tempo brand of football Mikel Arteta had envisioned since the first day of his appointment.

As of September 29, Arsenal had three players (Gabriele Martinelli 3rd, Granit Xhaka 5th and Gabriel Jesus 10th) in the list of top ten chance creators in the Premier League. No other teams have as many players on the list.

But the Gunners will face a stern test of their abilities when Antonio Conte brings his high-flying Tottenham team to the Emirates.

The Lilywhites stand only a point behind their next-door neighbours, so a win on Saturday afternoon will allow them to leapfrog Arsenal in the standings.

Tottenham have happy memories of ending their arch nemesis’s top-four ambitions last season when they ran to a 3-0 victory over Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

However, Spurs’s record at the Emirates has been abysmal, to say the least.

Apart from a Gareth Bale masterclass in 2010, Tottenham have never won at the Emirates since it opened its door in 2006.

What will be the Spurs’ game plan?

But Tottenham should have taken notes from Arsenal’s defeat to Manchester United.

Man United exploited Arsenal’s high backline and came out on top with a 3-1 win.

Tottenham Hotspur are arguably the best counter-attacking team in the division at the moment.

The deadly duo of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min can demolish any defences in the world.

Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison have also proven they can add more steel to an already fearsome Tottenham attack.

Conte will be hoping to hurt Arsenal with his team’s lightning-fast counter-attacking ability.

Arsenal team news

Arsenal are confident that they can get back Thomas Partey in midfield.

The Ghana international missed five matches for Arsenal with a thigh problem.

After recovering, he sustained a minor knock during his international duty with Ghana.

However, the Arsenal medical team is hopeful that he will be ready for the North London derby.

But Arsenal could be in a fullback crisis since Oleksandr Zinchenko, and Takehiro Tomiyasu are doubts. However, the team is optimistic about their availability as well.

Spurs custodian Hugo Lloris could not feature in France’s Nations League matches because of a head injury.

No official word is out yet regarding his availability.

Cristian Romero is expected to return to the backline in place of Davinson Sanchez.

Antonio Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur are excellent during transitional phases, making them a dangerous team to play against.

But considering Arsenal’s strong home form in this fixture and their form this season overall, we believe the Gunners will pick up another memorable North London Derby victory in front of a raucous Emirates crowd.

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