Tottenham will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat to Newcastle United when they make the short trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal in this season’s first North London derby.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side tasted victory on their last visit to their bitter rivals – a 2-0 Carabao Cup win last December – but Spurs find themselves in very different form this time around and will have improve drastically from their opening three Premier League performances if they want to take anything from the game.
The Argentine’s team selection came under scrutiny against the Magpies after he left both Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen on the bench – with the latter an unused substitute.
To make matters worse, the man currently playing ahead of Vertonghen – Davinson Sanchez – hardly covered himself in glory for Joelinton’s first-half winner, letting the Brazilian forward escape him far too easily before he swept past Hugo Lloris.
And if Sanchez keeps his place against Unai Emery’s side on Sunday afternoon, it will continue a rather strange pattern that always seems to occur when the North London derby comes around.
Since Toby Alderweireld joined the club in the summer of 2015, Tottenham have met the Gunners on 11 different occasions in all competitions, but remarkably, despite partnering each other for the majority of Spurs’ games in that period, Alderweireld and his Belgian teammate have started just three times against Arsenal.
Alderweireld was dropped for the 4-2 defeat last term, whilst various injuries to both have seem them miss a host of other meetings. And with Vertonghen not currently in Pochettino’s good books, it looks as if that run – that won’t leave Spurs fans best happy – will continue at the Emirates this weekend.