How fitting that the last ever North London derby to be played at Highbury will be one of the most anticipated and important ever. Spurs have had a great season under the guidance of the impossible to hate Martin Jol. Arsenal have stuttered and stammered through the season picking up form from February on. The culmination of which will be a ferociously nerve-racking match.
It is the kind of match where tactics and form go out of the window, the winner will be the team that handles the occasion the best. No teams have any fresh injury news other than the predictable possible return then absence of Sol. At this rate he will not make the World Cup. Wenger mentioned he would rest players for this game and I expect to see Cesc on the bench replaced by Diaby. I expect 2 of Pires, Freddie and Hleb to be rested as Reyes and Adebayor return to the starting line up. I also pray that Wenger plays Henry and not the mismatched partnership of RVP and Adebayor.
Spurs are a lively side and will throw everything at us, the two main threats are men at different stages of their career but both in their best form to date. Robbie Keane and Aaron Lennon have pace and ingenuity. Lennon will be up against Flamini but may switch to the left where he will face Ebs, ha! Keane will be up against, I fear, Djorou and Senderos – Kolo needs a break sooner or later – but will have to contend with Gilberto as well.
I am so nervous about this game that I am developing seriously over excited bowels already. Spurs have great potential to really get into us and I was impressed by the way they played against Man U last week despite the defeat. They passed the ball around well and had plenty of chances, the only reason they lost is that Man U have that killer instinct that most great teams have, unfortunately that is for us. We have to take our chances on Saturday as spurs and their fans will pounce on any mistakes or uncertainty in the Arsenal psyche.
Against Villareal we felt the occasion of the match more than the Spaniards however tomorrow both sets of players will know what this game means, not just for next seasons European travels but in the deep history of North London derby’s.
Squirrel chaser in chief, Flaminho, Ebs, Swiss Tony, JD, Vasiriki ‘their both big and brothers’ Diaby, The Invisible Wall, Belarus’ finest, the Gypsy King, Kanu II, TH14