Spurs with edge over Gunners


Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris is expected back in the starting line-up tomorrow. – Reuters

SPURS, despite trailing Arsenal by two points in the Premier League, should get the better of their fierce city rivals in the North London derby tomorrow.

Tottenham have two games in hand over the Gunners and that merely adds even greater needle to the clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Spurs, sixth in the standings, were unceremoniously knocked out of the Carabao League Cup semi-final second leg in midweek by Chelsea. But they are unbeaten in eight games in the league and that includes a visit by Liverpool.

Needless to say, Antonio Conte, who took over as head coach at the beginning of November and has – to a degree – already instilled a good sense of commitment and determination in his squad, will want to keep it like that with a few more wins. And what better way to do it than with a victory over the old enemy?

The Italian should recall goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to the starting line-up, more so after his replacement in midweek – Pierluigi Gollini – was held culpable for the goal that ended their run in the League Cup.

Conte reportedly held talks with the Spurs’ hierarchy this week about making new signings. But if there was one thing besides this that could boost their standing, it would be to get Harry Kane firing on all cylinders again.

The England captain has not been the same player, and scorer, since his efforts to leave the club in the off-season were shot down.

Kane has found a bit of form recently, but if he could really get going tomorrow, Arsenal may yet find themselves trailing in the log standings.

Mikel Arteta has deliberately put the FA Cup exit behind them and will be hoping for a top-class showing against Spurs.

They suffered a shock 1-0 exit at the hands of lowly Nottingham Forest in the FA third round.

And then in midweek, the Arsenal boss said they were still an “attractive transfer destination for world-class players”.

This referenced their ongoing bid to bring Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic to England and an effort to lift his side ahead of their London derby.

Always a fixture to look forward to, even for the neutrals, tomorrow’s clash could well be peppered with yellow cards. But it remains one that Spurs will start with a slight edge.

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