Tottenham v Arsenal preview: Spurs handed double boost while Gunners suffer Petr Cech blow
By Simeon Gholam
Last Updated: 05/03/16 1:51pm
Tottenham expect Dele Alli to be fit to start against Arsenal in Saturday's lunchtime kick-off, while his fellow midfielder Mousa Dembele could also return to the squad following injury.
Alli started on the bench in the midweek defeat at West Ham, being introduced as a second-half substitute, while Dembele has been absent for their last three games.
Arsenal, however, have suffered a major blow with Petr Cech ruled out for up to four weeks with a calf injury he suffered against Swansea on Wednesday night.
It is one of the biggest north London derbies in history between the two sides, with Spurs knowing they could potentially damage Arsenal's title challenge beyond repair with victory at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham missed the chance to go top of the table in midweek, but three points will send them above Leicester for at least a few hours, with the Foxes facing a tough trip to Watford on Saturday Night Football.
Arsenal are aiming to avoid a third straight Premier League loss, and boss Arsene Wenger will know defeat could even leave them looking over their shoulders following Manchester United's recent resurgence.
Aside from Alli and Dembele's return, boss Mauricio Pochettino has no new injury worries ahead of the game with Arsenal. Clinton Njie and Jan Vertonghen, however, are both still long-term absentees. The duo are out with knee injuries.
Pochettino may choose to rotate his full-backs again, with Kyle Walker and Danny Rose set to replace Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies.
Arsenal boss Wenger is hopeful defender Laurent Koscielny will be back in a week. The defender also missed the midweek defeat against Swansea with a calf injury.
Arsenal are still without Jack Wilshere (leg), Tomas Rosicky (thigh), Santi Cazorla (knee) and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee).
Harry Kane has scored three goals in two Premier League appearances against Arsenal. He also has 13 goals in 17 Premier League London derbies.
Tottenham have lost just one of their last seven Premier League games against Arsenal at White Hart Lane (W4 D2 L1).
Arsenal have scored exactly one goal in each of their last six Premier League games against Spurs and each of the last four trips to White Hart Lane.
The Arsenal v Spurs fixture is the most common in Premier League history to see the team scoring first not going on to win (14 draws and eight comeback wins).
Arsenal have taken the most points from the head to heads between this season's top four (10), while Spurs have eight.
Arsenal haven't won twice at White Hart Lane in the same season (all comps) since 1986-87 (three wins there).
Arsenal have scored in 41 of their last 42 meetings with Spurs in all competitions.
Arsenal haven't lost four successive games in all competitions since October 2002.
The way Arsenal are playing, I just cannot see them getting anything out of the game. No Cech, no Koscielny and if Tottenham get going, start well and score first, I can see it getting out of hand.
The only problem is they looked tired the other day at West Ham and against Swansea, but I am going to go for a very hopeful 1-1, as that is what my heart is saying, but my head is telling me Tottenham are going to win this.
Arsenal are all over the shop at the moment, they have just lost three in a row and are without their best defender and goalie so I do worry for them. This is not the greatest Arsenal team and they do not have a lot of fight in them.
Tottenham are Sky Bet's 13/10 favourites to win the north London derby with Arsenal priced at 2/1 while another draw is a 12/5 chance. Harry Kane heads the first goalscorer betting at 9/2 and is being backed to do so in a 2-1 Spurs win in Phil Thompson's 28/1 Sky Bet tip, while Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck are considered the visitors' main threats at 6/1 apiece.