There are not one, but two major local derbies this weekend in the Premier League, and boy have we earned it as football fans. In an unexpectedly egregiously tedious September that created an excess amount of down time, we’re ready for a double shot of headliner fixtures.
We covered the Manchester Derby already- now we’re on to the North London edition. Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes his side is better prepared now to face Tottenham, given what happened last time.
Kick Off: Oct 1, 2022, at 12.30 pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Google Result Probability: Arsenal 46% Draw 26% Tottenham 28%
PL Position, Form Guide: Arsenal 1st, 18pts WWL-W Tottenham 3rd, 17pts WDW-
In May, his squad suffered a 3-0 rout at Tottenham, a humiliating experience in its own right, but the bigger picture of that result led to Spurs grabbing the final Champions League qualification slot, and Arsenal being relegated to Europa League.
The Gunners will be hosting this time around, and they’ll enter this big time clash sitting top of the table.
“Have the squad learned from that defeat to Tottenham? Yes,” Arteta responded to that line of questioning at his news conference today.
“It’s a different context. We go to that game as well with many different circumstances in terms of players that we had available and not available to play that game. What happened in that. You take the lessons, and you learn from it and you move on.”
Yes, a “teachable moment” indeed; both for Arteta and his squad. This will be a good litmus test towards seeing what kind of title challenging chops Arsenal have (or don’t have) this season.
It was certainly an emotional affair, as all editions of this derby are, and Sunday will no doubt be as well.
This match could also give an indication as to what kind of title challenging credentials Tottenham have (or don’t have) this term.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.Follow paulmbanks