It’s the most wonderful time of the year – no, not Christmas, it’s north London derby time!
Arsenal and Tottenham have provided us with some truly memorable Premier League clashes down the years; whether it be the 5-4 barnstormer in 2004 or Spurs’ phenomenal comeback in the 4-4 draw at the Emirates Stadium in 2008, you can always count on these two when it comes to value for money.
No north London derby passes without comment, but this one feels like it has a little extra edge. Not only do Spurs welcome back fans to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the fixture, but with Jose Mourinho’s men riding high in the Premier League, the Gunners will no doubt be desperate to curtail their neighbours’ title ambitions.
Let’s take a look at the starting XI that Mourinho should pick for this weekend’s derby.
Joe Hart (GK): Looks set to make his Premier League debut for the club with rumours regarding Hugo Lloris’ fitness continuing to circle. Hart didn’t cover himself in glory against LASK on Thursday evening and he’ll no doubt be keen to make amends.
Serge Aurier (RB): Having come in for much criticism last season, Serge Aurier has produced some fine displays at right-back this campaign. The Ivory Coast international now looks to be Mourinho’s first-choice right-back in the Premier League.
Toby Alderweireld (CB): Expected to undergo a late fitness test but should make the starting XI. Joe Rodon performed impressively in his absence, though a couple of lapses in concentration against Chelsea will no doubt see Mourinho opt for the more experienced Belgian if he proves his fitness.
Eric Dier (CB): Seemingly Spurs’ number one centre-back this season. Another defender who looks a completely different defender under Mourinho, showing far less vulnerability and erratic tendencies.
Sergio Reguilon (LB): Has been a stellar addition to the Tottenham backline and already looks to be an astute purchase. Plenty of quality and has the energy to help out at both ends of the pitch.
Moussa Sissoko (CM): Adds strength and athleticism to the Tottenham midfield and could be a key man in the derby. Featured in eight of Spurs’ ten Premier League games this season.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (CM): Has settled into life at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium seamlessly. The kind of combative, physical player every good Mourinho side has had at its heart.
Tanguy Ndombele (CM): After a turbulent start to his Spurs career he’s really beginning to find his feet at the club. Powerful, athletic and brilliant technical ability, he could prove to be a great asset for the club.
Steven Bergwijn (RW): Stretched his legs with a 25 minute cameo against LASK and seems to be Mourinho’s preferred choice on the right in the Premier League.
Harry Kane (ST): Mourinho confirmed in midweek that he expects his star striker to be fit in time for the clash. If he scores on Sunday he’ll become the outright highest scorer in clashes between Spurs and Arsenal, surpassing Emmanuel Adebayor and Bobby Smith who currently sit joint with Kane on ten.
Son Heung-min (LW): Was a surprise inclusion in the Europa League squad in midweek, and perhaps even more surprisingly played 82 minutes against LASK. Will no doubt still be chosen from the off on Sunday as him and Kane look to run riot against yet another Premier League defence.