Kane and Sanchez among the seven men who could decide Arsenal v Tottenham
The Premier League roars back into life this weekend, starting with the 181st competitive meeting between Arsenal and Tottenham.
Four points separate the two sides, and with Manchester City running away at the top, this battle is very much a scrap for the Champions League places.
We’ve been treated to some epic North London derbies over the years, and that should be the case again this Saturday lunch-time.
But who will step up and be the local hero? The Ladbrokes News Team runs through the seven men most likely to steal the show this weekend…
We couldn’t start anywhere else. Harry Kane simply loves the North London derby.
The Tottenham number 10 has scored in his last five appearances against Arsenal, netting six times in total.
Kane has already bagged 13 goals this season, and he’ll be fully fresh after skipping the international break.
It’s a simple question: Can Arsenal stop Harry Kane?
It’s been a slow start to the season for Alexis Sanchez, but he’s due a big game soon.
Chile failed to qualify for next summer’s World Cup, so the Arsenal forward can focus all of his energies into domestic duties.
Plus, if he is to leave Arsenal soon, a few good performances would be timely for his future prospects.
If Arsenal find themselves preoccupied with Kane, that could allow Dele Alli to swoop in and have his say.
The Englishman has a habit of popping up in big games too. He bagged two in Tottenham’s memorable 3-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League.
And he punished Chelsea twice with two near identical headers last season. Laurent Koscielny and co can’t afford to switch off, because Alli will be right there to pounce.
Slowly but surely, Mesut Ozil is coming good this season.
The German failed to produce a goal or an assist in his opening six Premier League appearances this term.
But he was excellent in the 5-2 win over Everton, and followed that up with another assist versus Swansea City.
When Ozil is on form, he often allows Sanchez to play better too. And like the Chilean, Ozil needs to start performing if he wants to leave the Emirates in the coming months.
While Ozil has steadily improved this term, Tottenham’s own midfield maestro Christian Eriksen has done the opposite.
After starting with three assists and two goals in the first six weeks of the campaign, the Denmark ace has yielded just one strike and no setups for his team-mates in the last five games.
He couldn’t unlock Manchester United’s defence last month, so will he have move joy against Arsenal?
Arsene Wenger surprised everybody by dropping record-signing Alexandre Lacazette for the trip to Man City last time out.
But the Frenchman will surely start here, in what will be his first taste of derby action.
With six goals this term, the former Lyon man is doing what he was signed to do – score goals.
A clinical finisher with excellent movement, Lacazette should give the Spurs back-line more hassle than Arsenal strikers of years gone by.
That’s right, Mike Dean.
The 49-year-old referee has been handed the task of keeping the peace on Saturday.
Dean is certainly used to the fixture, he’s taken charge of the North London derby six times before.
But Arsenal fans won’t be impressed. Dean upset plenty of Gooners during a hotly-tempered clash with Chelsea in 2015. Will he have a say in who wins the derby this weekend?
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