Febrero 19, 2018

Arsenal sweating on Cech involvement in north London derby

10 Febrero 2018, 01:21 | Gerardo Tarin

English players 'masters of diving'

Petr Cech of Arsenal shows appreciation to the fans after the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium

It's eight wins on the bounce for Arsene Wenger's side. A win here will take them to only a point off their north London rivals and back in the race for a top-four spot.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan has set up three Premier League goals in 120 minutes of action for Arsenal, as many as Alexis Sanchez managed in 1507 minutes for the Gunners this season.

Tottenham's "Wembley curse" from earlier in the campaign has been well and truly banished - Mauricio Pochettino's men are now unbeaten in 12 in all competitions at home. In that run, Pochettino's side won eight times, including an emphatic 4-1 win over Liverpool in October and 2-0 victory over Manchester United on January 31st.

The Magpies are 16th, one point above the relegation zone, and have not won in four league matches, although they have been boosted by the loan signings of Kenedy from Chelsea and Islam Slimani from Leicester.

If he keeps his place he is likely to line up against Aubameyang, who has scored four goals in four games against Spurs in the last two years, having faced the Lilywhites in the 2015/16 Europa League and in this season's Champions League group stage with Borussia Dortmund. Harry Kane claimed his 100th top flight goal with a 95th minute penalty to earn his side a well-deserved point.

Wenger also hopes to have Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck available for the game.

"Sometimes they play a little bit with the rules. It gives you a good pitch to allow you to play the way you want to", said Wenger, who will face Spurs for the 52nd time in his 22 years as Arsenal manager. I must say that personally, it's more important mathematically for us to come back as quickly as possible, rather than it being emotionally-charged.

" I just think that, for us, it will be more about sorting out the tactical problems". Lucas Moura is presumably also in contention, though I would hazard a guess that we probably won't see him make his first start in such a highly emotionally-charged match. I don't think Arsene Wenger can play the same tactics that stifle us as other lower table teams have done this season at Wembley.

Alderweireld is aware that facing Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has scored four goals in four games against Spurs, will be a hard challenge for a player just back from injury.

And speaking of territory, there are few places Arsenal enjoy playing more than at Wembley.

This is the first meeting between Spurs and Arsenal at Wembley since April 1993.

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