Preview: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

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Arsenal will be looking to end a run of four winless derbies against north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur when the two sides clash at the Emirates on Sunday.

Premier League
6 November 2016
Match Day 11
Kick-off: 20H00 HKT
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Referee: M. Clattenburg
Assistants: J. Collin, S. Bennett
Fourth official: A. Marriner

Head-to-head summary:

Arsenal 165 68 46 51
Tottenham 165 51 46 68

Previous encounter:

Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal 05/03/16 (Premier League)

Tottenham goalscorers: T. Alderweireld (60′), H. Kane (62′)
Arsenal goalscorers: A. Ramsey (39′), A. Sanchez (76′)

Players to watch:

Aaron Ramsey is trying to make up for lost time after sustaining an injury at the start of the season following some impressive performances for Wales at Euro 2016.

He has slotted back well into the Arsenal side over the past few games where he has played goal provider. This side is full of quality though, with Laurent Koscielny key in defence while Alexis Sanchez just refuses to stop scoring goals, in front of the mercurial Mesut Ozil.

Spurs have badly missed Harry Kane, so his return is a welcome boost, but he is unlikely to start, so they will be looking to Heung-Min Son and Vincent Janssen for the goals that have eluded the club in recent weeks.

Christian Eriksen and Deli Alli, who have both been far from their best during this stuttering spell, have the talents to drive Spurs forward, and should be key in this eagerly-anticipated encounter.

Team form and manager quotes:

Despite conceding two against Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday, the Gunners still impressed in a 3-2 win, and have hardly conceded during their impressive run of 15 games unbeaten, which only includes three draws.

Sunderland suffered from their free-scoring in a 4-1 loss last weekend but Arsene Wenger is aware he is up against a formidable team in Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham, who remain the only unbeaten side in the Premier League.

He told the club’s official website: “I think they have a dynamic team that is physically strong, so they try to play at a high intensity to close you down.

“But that is one aspect of the game and we have still to play and get out of pressure e and play our football. And the quality and intelligence of our passing has to be dominant on the day.”

Only three points separates second-placed Arsenal – who are level on 23 points with leaders Manchester City and Liverpool in third – from Spurs in fifth.

Tottenham have struggled of late – after five successive victories, Pochettino’s side haven’t won in their last six games, drawing four and losing to Liverpool as well as to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.

A major boost to the team though is the return to fitness to goal-machine Harry Kane, although he is unlikely to be introduced from the start.

The Spurs manager admitted his team are under performing but feels the derby provides the perfect opportunity for them to change that.

He told the club’s official website: “It’s true that we are not in a positive situation, in the six games after Manchester City we have struggled to win games – four draws and two defeats.

“We are very conscious about that, we need to work hard and try more than before. We are in a difficult moment but in football you always need to be ready to change the dynamic and we have a very good opportunity on Sunday to go to the Emirates and try to win the game.”

Team news:

Kane is fit and available for selection for Spurs after five weeks out but Toby Alderweireld (knee) will only be ready to return to the side after the international break.

Mousa Dembele will be assessed after he picked up an ankle injury against Leverkusen but Erik Lamela is out (hip), as is Ben Davies (knock) and Moussa Sissoko (suspension).

Arsenal have concerns over Santi Cazorla (Achilles) and Kieran Gibbs (shoulder).

But Hector Bellerin, Nacho Monreal (muscle pull) and Theo Walcott (hamstring) should be fit to return, as Lucas Perez (ankle), Per Mertesacker (knee) and Danny Welbeck (knee) remain long-term absentees.