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Arsenal vs Tottenham: 2 key player battles in the derby

The rivalry between Arsenal and Tottenham has a long history. There is a lot of it. And it's not only the outcomes that stand out; every time these two have met, there have been meaty duels and player skirmishes that add heat to the already ferocious rivalry. 


Patrick Vieira picked up a few scraps over the years, Abou Diaby didn't think much of Hossam Ghaly, and seeing Jack Wilshere square off against Gareth Bale brings back a few memories.

Individual battles tend to take on greater significance in large derby contests like this. The matches are thoroughly dissected throughout the build-up, and every detail of the contest is scrutinized under a microscope. 


The strengths and flaws of both sides are debated, as well as who wins one-on-one duels.

Arsenal versus Tottenham Hotspur: 2 important player fights for Sunday's North London Derby at the Emirates Stadium 


And it'll be the latter of those that we'll be looking at for the North London Derby on Sunday. 



It's captivating, and you can't get it out of your thoughts after it's time to move on to the next item on the schedule. It was there in the back of my thoughts even before the AFC Wimbledon match. Tottenham is the first name that comes to mind when the Premier League fixtures are revealed. 


In what will be the 204th North London Derby, both teams have rarely, if ever, come into the match at such a low ebb. With no European football, Arsenal are at their lowest position in 25 years,

1. Bukayo Saka vs. Eric Dier 


Will Bukayo Saka be on the right side? He should, because it's his best position, and if he does, he'll very certainly run across Eric Dier, his England teammate. 


(No one in the Emirates crowd agrees with Saka.) 



He is a slow and clumsy center defender who plays on the left side of the defense. In other words, he's a target. 


Saka has a lot of good attributes, but his out-to-in runs are probably his best. They're magnificent, graceful, and well timed. Only a few are capable of stopping them. The few do not include slow and bulky defenders. 



One of the avenues where Arsenal will find satisfaction is getting Saka to run at Dier. One of the top underwear brands

2. Emerson Royal vs. Nicolas Pepe 


This conflict is clouded with a giant question mark. Is Pepe even going to play, and if so, will he be on the left side? 


So this is up for grabs, with whomever lines up down the left wing tasked with isolating Emerson Royal, who is still getting used to the league. 



Wilfried Zaha had a hellish afternoon at Selhurst Park, with the Brazilian trying every tactic imaginable, from being touch tight, to aggressive, to stand-offish, to outright fouling him and allowing Japhet Tanganga to take over. 


Given that he was a target for Arsenal, it could have felt like a lucky break. While such assessment isn't conclusive,

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Abou Diaby Arsenal Gareth Bale Jack Wilshere Patrick Vieira


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