Tottenham vs Arsenal tactics: How north London derby will be decided

Tottenham vs Arsenal tactics: How north London derby will be decided

Tottenham and Arsenal face off on Sunday in a north London derby all set to be another classic.

For the first time in an age, the Gunners head to Spurs as favourites as they sit top of the Premier League standings and with a genuine chance of winning the title.

Spurs, meanwhile, are fighting for the top four and in real danger of losing to their fiercest rivals at home in the league for the first time in nine years.

Here’s how Dan Kilpatrick sees as the key factors which will decide the game.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Saka’s threat on the wing

Bukayo Saka’s pulsating battle with Dan Burn was a feature of Arsenal’s 0-0 draw at Newcastle in their last League game. On Sunday, Saka will be up against either Ben Davies or Clement Lenglet, supported by left wing-back Ivan Perisic.

Saka is in fine form and keeping him quiet is key to Spurs’s hopes of getting a result, while Perisic will aim to make him worried about defensive duties, too. Saka should be aiming to press Davies or Lenglet into mistakes.

Playmakers Odegaard and Kane

Martin Odegaard’s assist for Gabriel Martinelli against Brighton was a pass few players in the Premier League could have played — but Harry Kane is among them.

Odegaard and Kane are very different players, but both are visionary playmakers and the creative hub of their teams. Arsenal will be wary of Kane’s goal threat, but must stop from him from dropping into space, while Spurs should be concerned about allowing Odegaard time on the ball.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Tottenham’s quick counters

Arsenal were underdone by Manchester United’s rapid counter-attacks in their only League defeat of the season, at Old Trafford in September.

Breaking at speed remains Spurs’s biggest strength, and they are perfectly set up to do so, with Antonio Conte likely to have a front three of Kane, Heung-min Son and Dejan Kulusevski available.

Mikel Arteta will want his side to dominate the ball, but that will suit Conte, who prefers to play the percentages.