Stuart Gower: The North London Derby Hasn't Disappointed Of Late And It Won't Again, Expect Loads Of Goals And Terrible Defending

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Arsenal welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates Stadium for the first North London Derby of the season and with both team struggling defensively this has the makings for quite a spectacle.


Arsenal have been struggling to find their best form since the first international break of the campaign and have just won once since, which was a 1-0 victory over winless Queens Park Rangers.


In this time they have had to endure losses to Norwich, Schalke and Manchester United as well as draws with Fulham and over in Germany. At present they are struggling to find their attacking fluency and the defence which was praised so much after the first five games has fallen apart.


The injury to Kieran Gibbs has been huge for the Gunners' as Andre Santos is simply not good enough and even though captain Thomas Vermaelen can play at left back it is not where he is most comfortable.


Arsenal fans have had to endure terrible defensive displays over the past fews seasons but what is more worrying is their struggle to hurt their opposition. Wenger's unwillingness to play the inform Theo Walcott away at Manchester United and select Aaron Ramsey in his the unfamiliar right wing position left the fans dismayed and demanding answers as they simply did not have the pace to counter or even threaten the Red Devils.


Tottenham have also been struggling of late losing away to Manchester City last weekend and at home to Wigan the week before that. In truth in new manager Andre Villas Boas has deterred from the 4-4-2 attacking style Spurs had under Harry Redknapp and wants to contain teams when they go ahead, which is not something that this squad is good at. In Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon they will always have chances but the injury to summer signing Mousa Dembele has left them missing creativity in the centre of the park.


Aside of all of this, when it comes to local derbies you can throw the form book out of the window and Spurs will feel they can take all three points away from a vulnerable Arsenal. Fulham scored three easy goals at the Emirates last weekend and Bale, Lennon and Defoe will be licking their lips looking at Arsenal's frailties at the back.


Arsenal fans on the other hand are crying out for a good performance from their team and this is the first time that Arsene Wenger's managerial capabilities are coming into question. First and foremost they have to control the midfield and increase the tempo of their play. If both are fit the two England boys Wilshere and Walcott could have a huge impact on the result because as we have seen against Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea AVB likes to keep a high line against the big teams and this could play into Walcott's hands.


No one on the pitch will know more about the rivalry between Arsenal and Spurs than Jack Wilshere who has been with the Gunners since he was nine and returning from last weeks ban expect him to be closer to his dynamic best.


There has been 12 goals in this fixture over the past two seasons, and it is likely there will be a few tomorrow and it will be a real roller-coaster of a game. On both of the previous two occasions the team leading 2-0 has ended up losing.


If Arsene Wenger's side can inject pace into the play I think they will come out victorious 4-2, but don't write off Spurs chances because they are more than capable of heaping more troubles on the out of form Gunners.