Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal

Scouting Report - Tottenham Hotspur

Before every Arsenal fixture, we’ll bring you a Scouting Report on the Gunners’ next opponents.

Arsène Wenger's side face Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Saturday. To find out more, we asked tactical expert Michael Cox.


Tottenham are currently in their best form of the season, largely because of the performances of two attacking players.

Mauricio Pochettino had the defensive section of the side well-drilled from an early stage, but desperately lacked an attacking spark until recently. The form of Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen has transformed Tottenham's campaign.

Kane was used primarily in cup competitions in the first couple of months, but has now started the last 13 Premier League games and managed nine goals in that period. Kane, often compared to Teddy Sheringham, has been fielded in two separate positions, either just behind another striker like Roberto Soldado, or up front as the main man.


Harry Kane

Harry Kane


The latter seems to be his best bet, and expect Kane to lead the line on Saturday - his instinctive finishing of half-chances has been remarkable.

Eriksen has improved significantly in his second Premier League season, and is the true all-round attacking midfielder. His technical ability and creativity was never in question, but he's also improved without the ball.

His pressing of Mathieu Flamini resulted in Nacer Chadli opening the scoring in the reverse fixture at Emirates Stadium - and Eriksen has become a real goal threat too.


Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen


He's excellent at steering in efforts from just outside the box with a minimum of fuss, and his free-kicks have been magnificent. The Dane is the Premier League's top goalscoring midfielder; Arsenal - and Francis Coquelin in particular - must track him carefully.

In deeper positions Spurs are extremely well organised and recover the ball high up the pitch. Ryan Mason has performed well in an energetic midfield role, while Nabil Bentaleb could return from Africa Cup of Nations duty to anchor the midfield. Mousa Dembele, meanwhile, starred in the win at West Bromwich Albion last weekend and is excellent at dribbling forward through crowded central areas.

Expect the wide players to break forward energetically - Chadli's off-the-ball movement is good, while Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend offer more trickery in possession. Lamela created three of Spurs' five chances in the 1-1 draw at the Emirates in September, including the assist for Chadli's opener.


Lamela chances created v Arsenal at Emirates Stadium

Lamela chances created v Arsenal at Emirates Stadium


Meanwhile, both Danny Rose and Kyle Walker overlap with tremendous speed. This feels like the most dynamic, cohesive and exciting Spurs team for a while, so expect a high-tempo contest. Arsenal must be up for this derby from the first whistle.

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