The English Premier League will bring us yet another marquee matchup in Arsenal vs. Tottenham on Saturday.
In what was surely last weekend’s game of the week, Arsenal is coming off of an all-out brawl with Fulham, who remains tied with the Gunners in the standings.
It looked like Arsenal was going to steal a victory after a controversial last-second handball by Fulham defender Sascha Riether in his own box resulted in a penalty for Arsenal. However, a truly unbelievable and adrenaline-pumping save by Mark Schwarzer on the penalty kick prevented the Whites from dropping the game. Ultimately, Arsenal was able to draw Fulham.
Meanwhile, 200 miles south of London in Manchester, Tottenham attempted to hold off an elite Manchester City squad. They almost walked out of Manchester with a tie on Sunday, until the elusive Edin Dzeko deposited one in the lower corner in the 88th minute to give Manchester City the victory.
Tottenham has a slim margin over Arsenal in points, so both squads desperately need a win in what could potentially be the game of the week.
Where: Emirates Stadium, London, England
When: Saturday, November 17, 7:45 a.m. EST
TV: ESPN 2
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Arsenal: Do they have what it takes to beat an elite EPL team this season?
With 11 games in the books for Arsenal, their 4-3-4 record and 16 points in EPL play is not how Arsenal fans expected the Gunners to start their season. Arsene Wenger’s squad has only secured a victory over one club, West Ham, with a winning record this season.
November has not fared well thus far for the Gunners, as the squad dropped a game to Manchester United and tied a Fulham team they should have knocked off.
Arsenal will need to subdue the hot foot of Tottenham veteran striker Jermain Defoe on Saturday.
Don’t expect the classic 4-3-2-1 Wenger formation against Tottenham. Wegner is considering bagging his traditional formation to bolster a defense that has struggled down the stretch, according to Sami Mokbel of The Daily Mail.
Arsenal will likely push midfielder Jack Wilshere back on defense to give them five on defense, or they’ll look to the bench for help. Giving their defense added support with five in the back will be enough to suppress Tottenham’s goal scoring in the end.
Tottenham: Can they make a run at a top-five finish?
This has been another solid season from this Tottenham team, but are they underachieving with their new manager André Villas-Boas? This is a Tottenham team that has ended in the top five in the EPL in each of the last three seasons under Harry Redknapp.
Tottenham is fresh off a two-game EPL losing streak and is going to have trouble preventinga third loss against this Arsenal team.
Injury will be the Achilles heel of Tottenham come Saturday. They will be without star midfielder Mousa Dembele, who’s trying to recuperate from a nagging hip problem. If that doesn’t hurt enough, Villas-Boas is also unsure whether Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and star striker Dermain Defoe will be ready for Saturday’s game.
With all the injury questions surrounding this team, don’t be surprised if Villas-Boas switches to a 4-4-2 formation. A formation that resembles the Redknapp years, the 4-4-2 will give Tottenham the opportunity to drop back more on defense and attempt to muffle Arsenal's scoring.
Arsenal will beat Tottenham at home 1-0 in a real defensive showcase.