Arsenal welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates on Saturday lunch time for the first north London derby of the season.
Arsene Wenger’s side go into the game one point behind Spurs with both sides looking to get their top-four hopes back on track.
The Gunners blew the chance to leap-frog their neighbours last weekend after being held to a 3-3 draw against Fulham last time out, with Mikel Arteta missing an injury-time penalty to win the game.
Tottenham go in to the match off the back of two defeats to Wigan and Manchester City so Andre Villas-Boas will be hoping to get his season going again with a positive result at the Emirates.
The last time the two sides met a Robin Van Persie inspired Arsenal came from two goals down to win 5-2 back in February. Thankfully for Spurs, the Dutchman has now departed the Gunners but they will face the threat of Olivier Giroud, who’s now scored six in his last eight for club and country.
Arsene Wenger will have to give late tests to seven first team players ahead of the game following the international break.
Olivier Giroud came back from duty with France nursing hamstring and calf injuries, Mikel Arteta is a doubt with a hip complaint while Santi Cazorla only arrived back in London on Thursday night from his long-haul trip to Panama.
Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bacary Sagna and Wojciech Szczesny will also be assessed before the game but all seven players are expected to feature.
Jack Wilshere is available again after serving a one match suspension last weekend. Gervinho, Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky remain on the sidelines.
Tottenham also have their own injury concerns to contend with. Mousa Dembele has been ruled out with a hip injury and joins long-term injury victims Scott Parker, Younes Kaboul and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the sidelines.
AVB will also assess the fitness of Jermaine Defoe, Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon but all are expected to play some part although Defoe may have to make do with a place on the bench with former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor getting the nod up front.
The north London derby has become the most entertaining derby of the season in recent years and with it has become almost impossible to predict. Both sides are desperate for a win in a game that could define their seasons, but we’re going for the Gunners to edge this one, but another thriller is on the cards. Arsenal 3-2 Tottenham.
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