Pressure on Conte as Spurs face Gunners at home

Pressure on Conte as Spurs face Gunners at home

Bitter London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal go at it this Monday at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

As it stands, Arsenal are 5th on the Premier League table with 35 points, while Tottenham are hot on their heels on the 6th spot with 33 points, and have also played 2 games less than The Gunners.

Arsenal come into this game with their heads held high, as they managed to hold off Liverpool to a goalless draw at Anfield in the first-leg of their EFL Cup semi-final tie with 10 men. Granit Xhaka was sent off in the 24th minute after he fouled Diogo Jota by literally kicking him in the ribcage.

Meanwhile, Tottenham have had a week to forget after getting dumped out of the EFL Cup by Chelsea, losing 2-0 and 1-0 in their semi-finals. Tottenham boss Antonio Conte was visibly annoyed after the Chelsea loss, and stated that they “deserved to lose” the tie, and that Chelsea was the better team across both legs.

Tottenham will be without star winger Son Heung-Min, Christian Romero, Eric Dier, and Steven Bergwijn, all due to injuries. This gives Antonio Conte a harder time to field a squad capable of controlling the game, with less options in the middle of the park.

As for travelling Arsenal, their squad status is looking dire, Mikel Arteta has admitted that up to 11 outfield players could potentially be unavailable for the clash at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium. The Arsenal coach has also hinted at the possibility of the clash being delayed due to the sheer number of players unavailable, which is quickly becoming a theme with English clubs of late, with their EFL tie against Liverpool having been postponed due to similar reasons.

Surprisingly enough, Tottenham has the upper hand when comparing head-to-head stats, with Spurs being the victor in 3 of their last 5 encounters. Of course, if the match does go on as scheduled, Arsenal’s squad woes could only further shift the playing field in the Spur’s favour.

One would be naive to write off the Gunners, though. Despite having lost to Nottingham Forest and being dumped out of the FA Cup in the process, Arsenal have actually had a decent run of games recently, having held Liverpool to a goalless draw with 10 men, and also arguably a standout performance in their controversial loss to Manchester City.

That said, expect a different looking Tottenham squad to face Arsenal from the one that played Chelsea a few days prior, as Conte looks to shake things up in their favour. Arsenal would likely not have much of a choice regarding team composition as the injuries pile up.

Our verdict is a 1-0 for the Spurs, with the fierce homeground advantage, as well as a Tottenham squad that will have something to prove, as they aim to overtake Arsenal on the Premier League table.