ENGLISH Premier League title pretenders Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur square off in what should be a cracker at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow.
These sides are unbeaten in fine starts to the new season, with both having won four and drawn one in their opening five matches thus far.
With just goal differences separating them (Spurs plus 8, Gunners plus 5), there isn’t much to choose between them.
But the home team gets the edge, courtesy of the support from the Emirates and also because of the manner in which they carved out a four-star triumph on their return to the Uefa Champions League after an absence of six years.
Mikel Arteta’s side looked formidable in midweek, and if they play like that against Angelos Postecoglou’s team, they may well win with ease.
But it’s unlikely that Tottenham will just roll over in this London derby. On the contrary, these clashes are often fiery affairs, played with full-blooded commitment by both clubs. Hence, the intense rivalry that exists in this fixture.
Still, Arsenal will fancy their chances. The midweek win was as comprehensive as they could expect, and one that Arteta will want to use to build on.
The Gunners were serious contenders for the crown for most of last season, only to run out of steam coming down the last stretch.
He will have learned a few lessons from that and will know his side need to win games like tomorrow’s if they are to go all the way and clinch a first league title for the club since 2004.
Against PSV, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus weighed in with quality performances, both getting goals. The other two scorers – captain Martin Ødegaard and Leandro Trossard – also chipped in with telling contributions, and Arteta will be expecting more of the same from the quartet.
Tottenham, who have scored at least two goals in each of their league games so far, will also be relishing the trip to the Emirates, more so with them in such fine fettle.
Postecoglou appears to have galvanised the side, which none of his recent predecessors managed to do in their first few months at the club.
This comes in the wake of talisman and England skipper Harry Kane being sold to Bayern Munich in the off-season.
A solid showing tomorrow, capped with the right result, will not only see the Australian coach’s stock rise further but also have his squad throw down the gauntlet for the rest of the league.
A neutral might forecast this one as a score draw, but one gets the feeling that Arsenal might yet pull it off and extend the celebrations of their triumphant return to Europe in midweek.