International football disruption is finally over for the winter, leaving four straight months of club football.
The Premier League however is getting itself back underway with a bang as Arsenal lock horns with Tottenham Hotspur in the 181st North London derby on Saturday lunchtime.
Arsenal will be without striker, Oliver Giroud after he picked up a minor injury.
Shkodran Mustafi and Danny Welbeck both face late fitness tests, having recently returned to training after being out injured for a while.
Spurs could hand Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks starts, having overcome injuries from before the fortnight break.
Keeper, Hugo Lloris could also feature after missing the win against Crystal Palace with a groin injury.
Second choice goalie, Michael Vorm is also back in training but faces a late assessment.
Centre back, Toby Alderweireld is however in the pysio room till post Xmas with a hamstring injury.
Arsenal have been in decent form, collecting three wins from their last five league matches with two of those victories coming at home.
They however lost last time out at Manchester City, losing 3-1.
The Gunners have a 100% home record this season so will be tough opposition here.
Spurs however are in rampant form, having lost just their last away game out of their last five league matches.
That away defeat at Manchester United at end of October is the only mark on what otherwise has been an near unbeaten away record.
- Kane has scored against Arsenal in every match that he has featured in.
- Spurs could make it seven unbeaten league meetings in this local derby, which will extend their unbeaten record in this particular tie.
- 75% of conceded goals at the Emirates have come before half time. Tottenham however are yet to concede any goals on the road in that period.
Clinical finishing will be key
Both teams are deadly when it comes to shots, making clinical finishing key.
Arsenal however have been the more clinical in getting their shots on target, having averaged a whole one more shot on target more than their arch enemies.
Goals ultimately matters and both teams have averaged 1.82 goals so far this season in the league.
That evenly matched goal average only enforces the fact that clinical finishing will be key.
This will be a tough game, given that everyone has only just come back from the international break.
The last three meetings on Arsenal’s turf have ended in 1-1 draws so that is probably a safe bet.
Spurs however have their key men fully rested and recovered so will have more energy.
Ultimately, I think Kane and Alli’s return to the team will help give Spurs that edge.
Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Jake predicts: Arsenal 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
Result: Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur
Here at Sport Grill, me and Jake Self are going head to head predicting games. Here is how things stand after the previous round of games along with the rules.
Correct score – 3 points
Correct result – 1 point
Incorrect result – 0 points