Arsenal vs. Tottenham: Gunners Will Down Spurs in North London Derby

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistNovember 17, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 26: Arsenal players shake hands with the officials and Tottenham players prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on February 26, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur hasn't finished above Arsenal in the Premier League standings since Arsene Wenger took control of the Gunners in 1996, nearly 20 years ago.

That won't change on Saturday afternoon.

While both clubs have battled injuries throughout the Premier League season, only one of them will be getting a number of key players back onto the pitch in time for their incredibly important showdown on Saturday at the Emirates (h/t The Telegraph):

Arsenal have received a triple injury boost ahead of Saturday's north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott and Wojciech Szczesny all confident of being fit for the game.

Szczesny's return is huge for Arsenal. While Vito Mannone did an admirable job in goal for the Gunners, Szczesny is a world-class keeper and one who should be able to give the Spurs fits all day long, especially seeing as the Spurs will once again be without midfielder Moussa Dembele, per ESPN:

#THFC wait on Lennon, but Dembele is out of North London derby

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 15, 2012

Here's how I figure the starting lineups for each side will look like:



Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud.


Tottenham Hotspur

Brad Friedel, William Gallas, Michael Dawson, Steven Caulker, Jan Vertonghen, Sandro, Tom Huddlestone, Clint Dempsey, Gareth Bale, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gylfi Sigurdsson.


Because of the Gunners' newfound advantage—the fact that the Spurs are still missing significant players from their squad—it seems unfathomable that Arsenal loses this one.

I predict the Gunners to win 3-1 in what will be a hotly contested match that won't be decided until late.