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Arsenal vs Tottenham predictions: Expert view on Mourinho v Arteta and key questions before north London derby

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On the final day of the season Bertie Mee’s side needed at least a draw to claim the title against a Tottenham side that had claimed that season’s League Cup. A tight, nervy affair was not settled until the 88th minute.
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Pat Jennings, who would move down the Seven Sisters Road in 1977, blocked John Radford’s initial shot but Ray Kennedy was on hand to head in the goal that secured Arsenal’s title.

Spurs go into the game having ended their winter slump under Jose Mourinho with three wins last week.

Arsenal’s main focus is now on the Europa League but defeat would leave the Gunners 10 points behind their rivals and make it all the more likely that Mikel Arteta will become the Arsenal boss in 25 years to fail to qualify for Europe.

So how will both managers approach the game tactically? What sort of game can we expect? How damaging could a defeat be for Arsenal? And how will the Gunners set-up to stop Harry Kane, Heung-min Son and Gareth Bale?

Our Arsenal and Tottenham correspondents, Simon Collings and Dan Kilpatrick, dissect some of the big talking points ahead of the game.

What’s the mood at your club going into the game?

SC: I think the mood at Arsenal generally this season, certainly among supporters, is one of disappointment and frustration.

Big things were expected from this campaign after winning the FA Cup last August and signing Thomas Partey in October – but so far it hasn’t delivered.

There will be some apprehension too ahead of Sunday’s game. The prospect of Tottenham beating Arsenal twice in a season is one no fan wants to think about.

DK: For supporters, there is always an element of trepidation ahead of the north London derby and, as a rule of thumb, the more confident fans should be, the less they generally are.

At the club itself, confidence has returned after the team ended their winter slump with three wins last week and the mood is one of cautious optimism going into Sunday’s game.

Gareth Bale’s return to form has given everyone a lift and there is a sense that Arsenal are there for the taking, even if Jose Mourinho will rigorously emphasise their strengths pre-match.

What will be the key areas tactically?

SC: If Arsenal are to beat Tottenham then they simply have to find a way to stop Harry Kane.

Kane is nearing top form

/ Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Everyone knows about the striker’s brilliant record in north London derbies and he seems to have a knack of turning up for them.

David Luiz has, perhaps surprisingly, been Arsenal’s best centre-back since the turn of the year but he will have his work cut out with Kane.

Similarly, Mikel Arteta’s side need to dominate the midfield better than the defeat earlier this season. Having a fully-fit Partey should help.

Partey is back

/ Arsenal FC via Getty Images

DK: The big question for Mourinho is whether Spurs take the game to their rivals or let Arsenal have the ball and lie in wait for a mistake.

Spurs enjoyed just 30 percent of possession in the 2-0 win in December and there are few sides as prone as Arsenal to shooting themselves in both feet.

But Spurs’ return to form last week came via aggressive, front-foot displays against Burnley and Crystal Palace, and with Gareth Bale, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane up top, there is a feeling that they should play to their strengths in every game.

Who would defeat be more damaging for?

SC: From a morale point of view, I would have to say Arsenal.

They’ve had precious little to cling on to this season and a second defeat to Spurs would be a hammer blow when it comes to their confidence.

Arsenal have been error-strewn

/ Getty Images

A loss for Tottenham, however, would be more damaging to their Premier League prospects than Arsenal’s. The Gunners are already out of the top-four race, whereas Spurs are still in it, and they cannot afford to drop points if they want to keep up their late charge.

DK: Arsenal. Both clubs are showing patience with their managers, so the fixture is unlikely to provide a coup de grace.

But defeat for the Gunners would leave them 10 points behind their rivals and make a season outside of European competition all the more likely. It would be a grim milestone for Mikel Arteta if he was to be the first Arsenal boss in 25 years to fail to qualify for Europe.

That said, the League has long felt secondary for Arsenal, with focus now on Europe, so a defeat for Spurs would be more damaging in terms of their ambitions to finish high up the table.

Which player could be key for either side?

SC: Bukayo Saka. The 19-year-old has been Arsenal’s most consistent and best player this season, with perhaps only the likes of Bernd Leno or Kieran Tierney rivalling him.

Saka has starred for Arsenal

/ Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Such is Saka’s importance that the whole attack seems to flow through him. If Arsenal create an opening, it is usually supplied by the teenager – who looks to have found his home out on the right flank recently.

DK: Bale has finally hit his stride with six goals and three assists in the previous six matches, and his next challenge is produce a standout performance in a really meaningful game.

Bale has stepped up recently

/ AP

The Welshman has begun to enjoy the same intrinsic understanding with Kane that Son enjoys with the England captain and it is hard to imagine Arsenal keeping a clean sheet if all three are on song.

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Chelsea FC vs Manchester City ways: Predicting wherever FA Cup semi-remaining will be gained and misplaced today

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Chelsea FC vs Manchester City tactics: Predicting where FA Cup semi-final will be won and lost today

Equally managers are obsessed with possession, so one thing will have to give.

When Chelsea have dominated the ball in the greater part of the online games considering that the German changed Chelsea legend Frank Lampard at the end of Janaury, he has proved he can earn, even when they have not.

Liverpool loved 54 for every cent of possession in Chelsea’s 1- gain at Anfield final month, yet Tuchel’s facet dominated the chances, with 5 pictures on focus on as opposed to the Merseysiders’ 1. If they are forced to engage in additional on the counter from Metropolis, it may just match them.

POOL/AFP by way of Getty Images

Mount vs Foden

Phil Foden’s social media operators stoked up the rivalry among him and Kyllian Mbappe forward of City’s Champions League semi-remaining with PSG, but comparisons with Mason Mount might be extra suitable.

Two youthful English attacking midfielders with ambitions of starting up for England at the Euros. Even though Foden may well have the more eye-catching techniques, Mount is top that race proper now.

Dropped for Tuchel’s 1st game in demand, the Chelsea manager immediately realized the error of his approaches and Mount is now a assured starter in Chelsea’s attack.

Pool through REUTERS

Battle of the untrue nines

Kai Havertz has led the line for Chelsea in latest months and was especially amazing in the 4-1 earn from Crystal Palace.

But Tuchel will hope he can have additional of an effect than he did in two tries in opposition to Porto in the Champions League quarter-ultimate if he is picked in the centre all over again.

Metropolis, in the meantime, have coped with an personal injury-wrecked season for Sergio Aguero by mainly dispensing with the need to participate in a No9. Ilkay Gundogan has been excellent scoring from deep positions — and tracking his runs and those of Bernardo Silva will be important for Chelsea.

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