Analysis: How Tottenham’s goal output will be affected following Kane’s injury

Tottenham eased into the FA Cup semi-finals with a 6-o win over Millwall on Sunday but they may have lost Harry Kane for the next few weeks, if not the rest of the season.

The England striker limped off after rolling his ankle in the sixth minute on Sunday and Mauricio Pochettino revealed after the game that it was the same injury as the one that ruled him out for seven weeks back in September.

Kane has been in incredible form in 2017, scoring 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions and picking up February’s Premier League Player of the Month award. He has scored three hat-tricks in that time and is tied with Romelu Lukaku as the league’s top goalscorer on 22.

 

Just last week, we wrote about his incredible form and how he is on track to break Alan Shearer’s incredible Premier League goalscoring record. But that looks to have been put on hold, perhaps for the rest of the season.

Spurs made light work of Millwall after Kane’s departure, with Heung-Min Son scoring his first Spurs hat-trick after filling in for Kane as the lone striker. But that was Millwall who are miles off Spurs, proven by the fact they sit 48 places below them in English football.

Spurs have an FA Cup semi-final to prepare for as well as 11 more crucial Premier League games as they look to secure a Champions League spot for the second-straight season.

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There is no current timescale on Kane’s injury, although he left White Hart Lane on crutches on Sunday evening and some reports suggest his season could be over if the injury is as bad as feared.

Spurs struggled during their ten games without Kane earlier this season, scoring just 13 goals while he was on the sidelines – almost half of which came in a 5-0 EFL Cup win over Gillingham. The evidence below proves just how important his goalscoring is to the side.

2016/17
Games
Win Rate
Goals
Goals Per Game
With Kane
29
59%
63
2.2
Without Kane
12
66%
19
1.6

On top of the ten games he missed through injury, Kane also sat out of two FA Cup games in January as he was rested. Tottenham have actually registered a better win percentage without Kane than with their star attacker this campaign. But it’s worth noting that three of their eight wins without Kane came against Gillingham, Aston Villa and Wycombe.

The more obvious concern is just how much Spurs struggle to score goals without the frontman, averaging 0.6 goals less per game without him.

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Below is a list of games Kane would miss over the next seven weeks, assuming he has picked up the exact same injury as earlier this term:

March 19 – Southampton (H)

April 1 – Burnley (A)

April 5 – Swansea (A)

April 8 – Watford (H)

April 15 – Bournemouth (H)

April 22/23 – Chelsea (N) – FA Cup semi-final

April 30 – Arsenal (H)

The standout fixtures are the two at the end of April – the FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea at Wembley and the final North London Derby at White Hart Lane. The promising thing for Spurs is that those two games are six weeks away, so there is still a chance Kane could recover in time, depending on the severity of his injury.

Heung-Min Son is likely to be the man to fill in for Kane over the next few weeks, although Vincent Janssen offers an alternative option for Pochettino. The Dutchman’s struggles have been well documented over the course of this season but he scored his first goal from open play in a Spurs shirt during the win over Millwall and could now be poised for a regular run in the side.

But regardless of who fills in for Harry Kane, they won’t be able to replicate his tremendous goalscoring form of late. Spurs just have to hope that his absence doesn’t lead to their season unravelling at the most vital stage.

How do you think Tottenham will fare without Harry Kane following his latest injury? 

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Premier League Preview and Prediction: Liverpool vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Liverpool vs. Spurs

Venue: Anfield – Saturday, February 11 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Liverpool 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – Spurs 5/2

Match Preview

Liverpool host Spurs in this weekend’s standout Premier League fixture at Anfield on Saturday evening as the race for the top four is set to take another important twist.

The Reds have had an awful start to 2017, winning just one of their 10 fixtures in all competitions – and that came at League Two side Plymouth.

Jurgen Klopp is under pressure to get his side firing on all cylinders again, and the visit of Spurs offers the perfect opportunity to pump some belief back into the home supporters.

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Liverpool tend to perform well against the league’s biggest sides, but Spurs offer a similar style and that should lead to a really entertaining clash.

Spurs know that a win here would put them in a really strong position ahead of a two-week break from league football. Mauricio Pochettino’s side can move six points behind Chelsea with a win, who don’t play until Sunday afternoon.

Tottenham haven’t lost a league game in nine, winning seven of those, and have the league’s best defence ahead of Saturday’s game.

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Spurs have already lost at Anfield this season, with the Reds knocking them out of the EFL Cup earlier this term. The two sides drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane in the reverse league fixture back in August and this is expected to be another close game.

Team News

Liverpool have doubts hanging over Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Ragnar Klavan, while Danny Ings and Marko Grujic remain out. Loris Karius could be recalled ahead of Simon Mignolet as Klopp continues to rotate his goalkeepers.

Spurs will be without defensive duo Jan Vertonghen and Danny Rose for the trip to Anfield, while Erik Lamela and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou are also sidelined. Kieran Trippier is a doubt but should make the bench. Pochettino could name an unchanged side to the one that beat Middlesbrough last week.

Key Points

Liverpool’s last five: D/D/L/D/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Mauricio Pochettino has never beaten Liverpool as Spurs manager. He’s drawn three and lost three of the previous six meetings with the Reds.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Spurs striker has scored as many league goals in 2017 (6) as the entire Liverpool team. If the Reds defence fail to keep him quiet, they will be in for a long evening.

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Score Prediction

Liverpool 1-1 Spurs – This is an enormous game for both sides and a loss for either would leave them in a bit of trouble, especially as there are going to be two weeks before the next round of Premier League matches after this weekend. Spurs need to avoid defeat to have any hope of staying on Chelsea’s tail, while Liverpool need to prove they are still ready to fight for a top four finish against a fellow rival.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs Middlesbrough

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Middlesbrough

Venue: White Hart Lane – Saturday, February 4 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Spurs 1/4 – Draw 9/2 – Middlesbrough 11/1

Match Preview

Tottenham welcome Middlesbrough to White Hart Lane for Saturday’s late Premier League game with the hosts looking for three more vital points to keep their faint title hopes alive.

Spurs enter the weekend in second place, although the result of the early kickoff between Chelsea and Arsenal will have major implications on this contest and Tottenham know they must be prepared to take advantage of dropped points from at least one of their two London rivals.

Mauricio Pochettino’s side had to settle for a frustrating 0-0 draw at Sunderland during the midweek round of fixtures, but Spurs haven’t failed to score in back-to-back Premier League games for almost two years, so they will expect to rediscover their goalscoring form here.

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The Lilywhites are unbeaten at home this season and have won six in a row at White Hart Lane so Middlesbrough know they are right up against it ahead of what looks to be a one-sided tie.

Aitor Karanka’s men have struggled for goals all season. They have scored just 19 times in the league so far, the lowest tally of anyone and that is proving to be their biggest problem.

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They are a tight unit at the other end of the field and have the best defensive record in the bottom half of the table. But they are only two points above the drop heading into the weekend and need to start picking up more wins if they are to retain their Premier League status.

Middlesbrough haven’t won away from home since August but would happily settle for a point here in what should be a hard-fought battle.

Team News

Spurs remain without Jan Vertonghen and Erik Lamela, while Georges-Kevin Nkoudou is also ruled out. Danny Rose is likely to miss out after limping off against Sunderland on Tuesday, while the same applies to Heung-Min Son and Kieran Trippier, who are both struggling with knocks.

Middlesbrough will be without George Friend and Calum Chambers for the trip to London, while Gaston Ramirez is looking unlikely to be passed fit in time to feature. Aitor Karanka could name an unchanged side to the team that drew 1-1 with West Brom on Tuesday evening.

Key Points

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/D/D

Middlesbrough’s last five: L/D/D/L/D

Key Stat: Spurs have won their last six Premier League home games, conceding just three goals in that time. They are looking to win seven in a row at White Hart Lane for the first time in 11 years.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Tottenham frontman has yet to play against Middlesbrough in the Premier League but he will be relishing the prospect after netting a hat-trick in Spurs’ last home league game against West Brom three weeks ago. He has 13 goals for the season – more than Boro have managed in total in their last 16 league outings.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham 1-0 Middlesbrough – Middlesbrough have the third best defensive record away from home in the Premier League and will set up to make it very difficult for Spurs to break them down. However, the home side are desperate for three points to stay in the title race and should have enough quality to edge past a resilient but low-scoring Boro team.

Three reasons why Tottenham can win the Premier League under Pochettino

Tottenham Hotspur are on track for their best domestic finish in the Premier League era. They have played some scintillating football, attacking with flare and defending with power. So why can they win the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino? Lewis Addley explores…

The race to win the Premier League title is more intense with each passing week. There are ten points separating top spot and sixth place. Tottenham Hotspur are sitting in second place, seven points behind leaders Chelsea. Pochettino has shown exactly why Spurs deserve to be regarded as capable of winning the league and his continual improvement of the side since taking over points to glory in the future.

While we aren’t suggesting Spurs are going to win the title this season, albeit possible with plenty of games to play, Pochettino has them on the right track to provide the ultimate domestic silverware. Tottenham have lost just two games in the league this season, the joint lowest, while there is a bit of work to be done to turn draws into wins, Pochettino has his side close to where they need to be.

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So what are three key reasons why Pochettino’s Spurs can win the Premier League?

Respect – The players have shown they respect and trust their manager.

The unity of the Spurs squad is apparent for all to see, there doesn’t appear to be an ego in any player to suggest they’re more important than the team. In the wake of the appeal of moving to China, key figures in the Spurs camp have openly said there is no interest for them. Pochettino questioned players’ willingness to move, while talisman Harry Kane believes his teammates are not interested in big money moves, only achieving success at White Hart Lane.

Contracts – Spurs are tying down their players, not selling them.

The importance of not being seen as a ‘stepping-stone’ undoubtedly helps to keep players long-term. Spurs have given out bumper new contracts to their key players and are continuing to negotiate to get those remaining new deals. Rather than attracting world-class signings who see joining Spurs as a way to advertise themselves in the Premier League, they are able to sign players who want to make it to the highest level at the club.

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Tactics – Pochettino seems to have his tactics spot on.

From front to back the current Tottenham side is incredibly strong and they all appear to understand their role and what’s expected of them. This is an incredibly important feature to create a successful side. Failing to get tactics and player roles right leads to underperforming stars and a team lacking unity, something that can arguably be seen at Manchester City during their transitional period. Pochettino has built a team on the foundations of strength in every position. This makes them a powerful outfit and their run of results is proof continual progression.

Spurs are clearly a club on the rise. Their new stadium is well underway and it is an exciting time to be a part of the club for all involved. So long as they continue to improve, their chance of winning the title will increase. While it is difficult to predict whether they will win the title in the current campaign, given the performance levels of the teams around them, Pochettino has to get his players hungry for success. If Spurs can lift a trophy this season it will give the squad the taste of silverware and it could be the start of golden patch.

Do you think Tottenham can win the Premier League under Mauricio Pochettino?

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester City vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Manchester City FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC

Venue: Etihad Stadium – Saturday, January 21 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Man City 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Spurs 13/5

Match Preview

Manchester City welcome Spurs to the Etihad on Saturday evening in what is the biggest game of the weekend in the Premier League.

All eyes will be on Pep Guardiola and his City team after their embarrassing 4-0 loss at Everton last Sunday. The Spanish coach has never lost six league games in one season, but he is one defeat away from doing so and knows this is a real test.

Manchester City have proven they can perform incredibly well, but have also proven to be as vulnerable as anyone else at the back. That cost them again last weekend and they will be wary of facing the likes of Harry Kane and Dele Alli, who are in fine goalscoring form with Spurs.

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City come into the weekend in fifth place, three points behind second-placed Tottenham so this is a real six-pointer at the top of the table. A win for either side would send out another important statement as the title race looks set to heat up once again over the next couple of weeks.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men are looking to break a club record if they can make it seven league wins on the bounce at the Etihad on Saturday. They enter the game off the back of a stunning 4-0 win over West Brom last week, in which they put in one of the most dominating performances seen this season.

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City should offer a much stiffer test though, and Pochettino will know not to underestimate them despite their poor run of form.

Spurs came out on top in the reverse fixture at White Hart Lane back in October, winning 2-0. That means they’ve now won three in a row against the Citizens and will be looking to make it four on the spin for the first time since May 2010 here.

Team News

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is close to making a return but is not yet deemed fit enough to start a match of this magnitude. Ilkay Gundogan and Fernando remain sidelined through injury, while Fernandinho is still suspended and will miss out once again. Pablo Zabaleta may start in midfield again, with Guardiola short of options.

Tottenham have been dealt a blow in defence as Jan Vertonghen looks set to miss up to 10 weeks of action after rolling his ankle in last weekend’s win over West Brom. Erik Lamela is close to making his long-awaited return but is unlikely to be fit enough to even make the bench here.

Key Points

Man City’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Pep Guardiola has lost five league games already this season. He’s never lost more than five in a single season during his career.

Key Player: Christian Eriksen – The Spurs playmaker is in incredible form, having picked up four assists in his last four Premier League outings. He has scored on both of his previous two trips to the Etihad Stadium and will be looking to prove the difference once again here.

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Score Prediction

Man City 1-1 Spurs – This is an extremely difficult game to predict, given how important it is for both sides. City need to ensure they avoid defeat against their top six rivals, but last weekend’s thumping at Everton will have left supporters very anxious for the visit of an in-form Spurs team. Tottenham also need to avoid defeat to keep their title hopes alive, but they know this isn’t an easy place to visit and may struggle without Vertonghen at the back. A score draw looks the most likely outcome.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs West Brom

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham vs. West Bromwich Albion

Venue: White Hart Lane – Saturday, January 14 – 12:30 GMT (07:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Spurs 30/100 – Draw 4/1 – West Brom 10/1

Match Preview

Spurs welcome West Brom to White Hart Lane in Saturday’s early kickoff in the Premier League, with the home side looking to stretch their winning run to six league games.

Tottenham beat Chelsea 2-0 in their most recent Premier League game, before then beating Aston Villa in the FA Cup Third Round by the same scoreline.

Mauricio Pochettino will be delighted with the way his side are performing of late, and particularly Dele Alli after watching the 20-year-old midfielder score six times in his last three starts.

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A win over West Brom on Saturday would see Spurs move into second before Liverpool play Manchester United on Sunday, and that will undoubtedly be the aim.

The Baggies arrive at Spurs off the back of a two-game winning run after beating Southampton and Hull in their last two league games.

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They did, however, crash out of the FA Cup after losing 2-1 at home to Derby last Saturday and Tony Pulis will be desperate to see his players respond with a better showing here.

The Baggies have drawn each of the last three games with Spurs 1-1. A dramatic ending to the clash at the Hawthorns back in October saw both sides score in the final eight minutes.

Team News

Spurs only have one player ruled out of the contest, with Erik Lamela still a week away from a return to action after struggling with a hip injury. Mauricio Pochettino’s biggest decision will be what formation to deploy from the outset, with the 3-4-3 setup working well against Watford and Chelsea in their last two league games.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis is set to be without four players for the trip to Spurs. Saido Berahino is short of match fitness, while Allan Nyom could be unavailable as a result of refusing to play for Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament. Chris Brunt and Jonny Evans are both doubts and may miss the game.

Key Points

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

West Brom’s last five: W/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: Spurs have only won one of their last seven games against West Brom, drawing five times against the Baggies in that time, with the last three meetings ending 1-1.

Key Player: Dele Alli – The Spurs midfielder is in the form of his life. He’s scored a brace in his last three Premier League outings – becoming the first midfielder to do so in the competition – and has scored twice in three previous clashes with the Baggies. Expect him to be causing the West Brom defence problems again here.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham 2-1 West Brom – Spurs have struggled to get wins against the Baggies in recent times and another tough test is expected in Saturday’s early kickoff. But Tottenham have looked resurgent in recent weeks and their 2-0 win over Chelsea was arguably their best result of the season. They should follow that up with another three points against a West Brom side that has struggled against the big sides this term.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Chelsea vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Stamford Bridge – Saturday, 26 November – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Chelsea 8/11 – Draw 14/5 – Spurs 18/5

Match Preview

Chelsea face Spurs in what is a huge Premier League clash between the two London rivals on Saturday evening, with Tottenham looking to end a 26-year wait for a win at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea come into the weekend at the top of the table and have won six on the bounce, keeping a clean sheet in each of those victories.

Antonio Conte has the Blues looking like genuine title contenders and they’ll be looking to continue to prove their credentials with a win against Spurs here. They’ve won more games against Tottenham than against any other Premier League side and are rightly favourites.

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Last season’s meeting between these two was dubbed ‘The Battle of the Bridge’ after 12 players were booked in a fierce contest and an equally hostile clash is expected on Saturday.

Spurs arrive at Chelsea after being eliminated from the Champions League following their 2-1 loss at AS Monaco on Tuesday evening.

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Their dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham last weekend already seems a distant memory and all focus is now on this huge clash. Spurs remain unbeaten in the Premier League but know this will probably be their toughest test of the season so far.

It’s been 26 years since Spurs last won at Stamford Bridge. 16 of Tottenham’s first-team squad weren’t even born then, while the Premier League hadn’t even been formed.

Team News

Chelsea will soon be able to welcome back Kurt Zouma from his long-term injury but he is lacking match fitness and probably won’t be in the squad here. The same applies for Marco Van Ginkel, who is close to being match ready. But Antonio Conte is unlikely to make any changes to his side, with the 3-4-3 formation proving impossible for opposition sides to cope with.

Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino made four changes for the Champions League defeat in Monaco on Tuesday but the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen and Kyle Walker will come back in to the starting lineup here. Danny Rose is suspended, while Ben Davies is injured so Vertonghen will have to fill in at left-back, with Kevin Wimmer likely to start alongside Eric Dier in the heart of the Tottenham defence. Erik Lamela and Toby Alderweireld remain injured, while Harry Winks will be hoping for a third successive start after impressing against West Ham last weekend.

Key Points

Chelsea’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Tottenham’s last five: D/D/D/D/W

Key Stat: Tottenham have not won any of their last 29 trips to Stamford Bridge. They last won at Chelsea on February 10, 1990 – 26 years ago.

Key Player: Eden Hazard scored the equaliser in the last meeting between these sides to hand the Premier League title to Leicester. He has now scored in four of his last five against Spurs and is in great form heading into the tie.

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Score Prediction

Chelsea 2-0 Spurs – Spurs might be unbeaten in league play this season but they are heading to the Premier League’s in-form team and fierce London rivals. Their Champions League defeat in midweek, coupled with injuries to key players, leaves them in a vulnerable position. Chelsea, on the other hand, are looking unstoppable and haven’t conceded a goal in over two months. Home win.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham Hotspur vs West Ham United

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. West Ham United

Venue: White Hart Lane – Saturday, Novemeber 19 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Tottenham 8/15 – Draw 16/5 – West Ham 5/1

Match Preview

Tottenham welcome West Ham to White Hart Lane on Saturday evening as the Premier League returns following the international break.

Spurs remain the only side unbeaten in the Premier League this season, but the North London club are trailing top spot by five points and are currently 5th.

There is plenty of room for improvement for Tottenham despite their strong start to the season. Mauricio Pochettino, his players and the fans will be expecting more.

Tottenham come into this one having drawn their last four games on the bounce. While remaining unbeaten is a real positive, Spurs could easily be top of the league if they could find the back of the net on a more regular basis.

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West Ham United’s form has picked up and they look to be getting their season back on track after an unfavourable start.

The Hammers had won just one of their opening six games but have since picked up eight points in their last five games.

Slaven Bilic will have his sights set on pushing his side up the table and into the top ten. West Ham are currently 17th, but there are just eight points separating the relegation zone and European places in what looks set to be the tighest Premier League season ever.

West Ham are going to have to pick up their away form. They have won just once on the road this season, losing the other four. This is the first game of an incredibly tough four games against title contendors for Bilic’s side and they cannot afford to lose all of those fixtures. A positive result here is a must.

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Team News

Tottenham could be without as many as five for the visit of West Ham, as Ben Davies, Erik Lamela, Marcus Edwards and Toby Alderweireld are all expected to be out, while Dele Alli is a doubt. Moussa Sissoko returns following his suspension.

West Ham are expecting to be without eight players as their injury woes continue. Arthur Masuaku, Gokhan Tore, Sam Byram, Andy Carroll and Winston Reid are out, while James Collins, Diafra Sakho and Reece Oxford are all doubts. Mark Noble is suspended.

Key Points

Tottenham Hotspur’s last five: W/D/D/D/D

West Ham United’s last five: D/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: Stalemate – Tottenham have drawn their last four Premier League games.

Key Player: Hugo Lloris – It might not seem the case considering they’re unbeaten, but there is a lot of pressure on the Spurs ‘keeper. He is unquestionably the reason that not one of their four consecutive draws have been a loss. Lloris will have to continue to perform at the highest level while Tottenham are not scoring enough goals to win games.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 West Ham United – Tottenham to put an end to their run of consecutive draws and continue to challenge in the title race. West Ham’s away form has been tough to take for their fans and it won’t get any easier this weekend.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Arsenal vs Tottenham

Competition: Premier League – Arsenal FC vs. Tottenham Hotspur FC

Venue: Emirates Stadium – Sunday, October 6 – 12:00 GMT (07:00 ET)

Match Odds: Arsenal 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – Spurs 14/5

Match Preview

Arsenal face Tottenham in the season’s first North London Derby on Sunday afternoon in what is a huge match between two sides fighting at the top end of the Premier League table.

Arsenal haven’t lost since the opening day, while Spurs are the only remaining unbeaten team in the Premier League. But we all know form goes out of the window in games this big, so it’s all to play for at the Emirates on Sunday.

The Gunners beat Sunderland 4-1 last weekend before coming from two goals down to beat Ludogorets 3-2 in the Champions League on Tuesday. They are in high spirits and will be relishing the chance to end their arch rivals’ unbeaten streak here.

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The worry for Arsene Wenger is that his team have failed to beat Spurs in the league in each of the past two seasons (D3 L1). They’ve never gone five without a win against Tottenham in the league under the Frenchman.

Spurs come into the game in poor form, having not won in six in all competitions. They might not have lost in the Premier League but Liverpool eliminated them from the EFL Cup, and Bayer Leverkusen beat them 1-0 at Wembley in Wednesday’s Champions League clash.

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Tottenham have sorely missed Harry Kane, who has been out for over a month with an ankle injury. He is expected to be back in the squad here, but is very unlikely to start.

In his absence, Spurs have only managed to score two in their last three Premier League outings, drawing each of those games. But their defensive record remains very impressive, having only conceded five goals in ten games to this point.

Mauricio Pochettino is undefeated as a manager in his four Premier League north London derbies. He will be looking to become the first Spurs manager to go unbeaten through their first five league games against Arsenal in top flight history on Sunday.

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Arsenal are favourites but this is probably the best month for Spurs to be facing their rivals, given the fact that they tend to perform worse in November than any other month, averaging just 1.59 points-per-game during Arsene Wenger’s reign at the club.

Last season’s two meetings ended in draws and another tight contest is expected on Sunday. There is so much to play for here in what is undoubtedly the standout Premier League fixture of the weekend.

Team News

Arsenal have four players ruled out through injury, with Lucas Perez, Danny Welbeck, Per Mertesacker and Chuba Akpom all sidelined. Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are all doubts, while Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal should recover from knocks in time to play. Alexis Sanchez is expected to start up front again, although Olivier Giroud is pushing for a start.

Tottenham could welcome back Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld for the first time in a number of weeks here. Kane is expected to make the bench but is unlikely to start. Erik Lamela and Mousa Dembele are both doubts but the Argentine winger is expected to be fit in time for Sunday. Moussa Sissoko is definitely out as he serves the last of his three-match suspension. Danny Rose should come back in at left-back after sitting out of Wednesday’s loss to Leverkusen.

Key Points

Arsenal’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Tottenham’s last five: W/W/D/D/D

Key Stat: Goals ‘o’ clock – This will be only the second time this fixture has kicked off at noon in the Premier League. The only previous occasion saw Arsenal win 5-4 in a nine-goal thriller at White Hart Lane back in 2004.

Key Player: Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean attacker scored his 50th Arsenal goal in last week’s win at Sunderland and has been involved in nine goals in his last eight league appearances. He scored in the most recent meeting between the two and will be a huge threat to a strong Spurs defence here.

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Score Prediction

Arsenal 1-1 Spurs – Arsenal are strong favourites ahead of Sunday’s derby, but Spurs are unbeaten in the Premier League for a good reason. They have the best defence in the league and will aim to frustrate their arch rivals in what should be another pulsating North London Derby. Both teams have scored in this game in each of their last five meetings in all competitions, and that looks set to be the case again here, although don’t be surprised if this ends in another draw.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Tottenham vs Sunderland

Competition: Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Sunderland

Venue: White Hart Lane – Sunday, September 18 – 16:30 BST (11:30 ET) 

Match Odds: Tottenham 1/3 – Draw 4/1 – Sunderland 17/2

Match Preview

Tottenham welcome Sunderland to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon, with the hosts looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s disappointing Champions League defeat to AS Monaco at Wembley.

Spurs will be looking forward to returning to their usual home here but must make sure they don’t get complacent or fatigued after their midweek European commitments.

Mauricio Pochettino will demand an immediate response from his side and will be hoping that can replicate the performance that saw them win 4-0 at Stoke last Saturday.

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Harry Kane got his first goal of the season in last weekend’s win and will be expecting to add to his tally in what is a hugely favourable home tie for Spurs.

Sunderland are already struggling in the bottom three after just four games, having not won yet. David Moyes is having a hard time getting his team to gel together and the trip to Spurs won’t fill supporters with much confidence.

The Black Cats have still not won a Premier League game in the months of August or September for four years, so while the slow start is not a surprise, it should be a major concern.

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They fell 3-0 at home to Everton on Monday night and seemed vulnerable at the back as Romelu Lukaku netted a hat-trick. If they fail to improve on that display, they will be ripped apart in London on Sunday afternoon.

Last season’s corresponding fixture ended 4-1 to Spurs and another solid home victory is expected here.

Team News

Tottenham’s only absentee is Danny Rose, with the left-back set to miss out again through injury so Ben Davies will deputise again. Mousa Dembele is back from suspension and is expected to start in midfield for the first time this season. Heung-Min Son may be dropped from the side that beat Stoke, with Erik Lamela expected to start in his place.

Sunderland have a worryingly long injury list at this early stage of the season. David Moyes will be without Seb Larsson, Vito Mannone, Fabio Borini and Billy Jones, who are all out injured. Steven Pienaar, Lee Cattermole and Victor Anichebe are all lacking match fitness and are unlikely to feature as a result. Jermain Defoe will lead the line against his former club.

Key Points

Tottenham’s form: D/W/D/W

Sunderland’s form: L/L/D/L

Key Stat: Contrast – Spurs have only lost one of their last ten home games in the Premier League, with Sunderland only managing one win in their last ten away from home.

Key Player: Mousa Dembele – The Spurs midfielder will make his first league appearance of the season here after serving his long suspension carried over from last season. Tottenham are a better side with the Belgian in the team and he will look to control the match from deep, carving out chances for the more advanced players by driving forwards with the power and pace that Spurs have missed so far.

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Score Prediction

Tottenham 2-0 Sunderland – Spurs are huge favourites here and will be out to impress after their disappointing defeat in the Champions League on Wednesday. They must ensure they don’t let fatigue affect their performance, with Sunderland out to exploit any weaknesses if they do. However, Tottenham have a much stronger squad and should prove too good for a struggling Sunderland side.