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The first true derby day of the 2019-20 English Premier League season is upon us. This Sunday at 11:30 a.m. ET, Tottenham will travel five miles across North London to the Emirates Stadium where it will square off against archrival Arsenal (NBCSN; streaming on NBC Sports Live, FuboTV) for the first North London Derby of the new season.
Arsenal got its season off to a flying start with back-to-back wins over Newcastle and Burnley. But the Gunners faced a setback last time weekend, when they were handed a 3-1 defeat by defending UEFA Champions League winner Liverpool at Anfield. The North London Derby will provide Arsenal with the opportunity to immediately put that loss behind it and set the tone for the rest of the 2019-20 season.
The squad manager Unai Emery deploys against Tottenham is still very much in question at the moment. Mesut Özil has yet to be named in an Arsenal squad this season through a mix of security concerns and illness, and it remains to be seen if he’ll make his season debut against Tottenham. This could also be the match in which we see the highly-anticipated debut of an attacking triumvirate feating Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Tottenham, meanwhile, opened the season with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa, but it is entering this match hot off a 1-0 upset loss to Newcastle. Sandwiched between those contests, Spurs also have a 2-2 draw against defending Premier League champion Manchester City on their resume this season.
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But that draw with City is only a silver lining in the gray cloud that’s been their form dating back to the tail-end of last season. Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham have only won four of its last fifteen Premier League matches, which is the third-worst run in the Premier League over that stretch.
Arsenal will be without three key defensive players—Rob Holding, Hectory Bellerin and Kieran Tierney—for the North London Derby, but all three are expected to return to the squad following the September international break. For Tottenham, Dele Alli could make his return to action after being named to the squad against Newcastle, while Tanguy Ndombele’s status remains unclear.
Arsenal and Tottenham faced each other three times last year. In the Premier League, Arsenal won 4-2 at the Emirates while the sides drew 1-1 at Tottenham’s temporary Wembley home. Tottenham did manage to knock Arsenal out of the Football League Cup with a 2-0 victory at Wembley last December, though. But Spurs have problems when traveling to the Emirates. Tottenham hasn’t won a Premier League match at Arsenal since 2010.