For most Arsenal and Spurs fans this season has been the first season where Spurs have been above Arsenal for the whole season. Not only are Spurs above Arsenal but they are at this current point in time only 6 points behind Man City with a game in hand (tonight v Everton), which makes them genuine title contenders. Some bookies have Spurs as low as 9/1 to win the Premier League title, odds that no Spurs fan have seen in the history of the Premier League. Spurs have been playing some fantastic football this season, with Bale, Modric, Adebayor and Van der Vaart stating their claim as being some of the best players in the league. Some claim this Spurs side is better than Wenger’s Arsenal and so far they have been proven right.
However here are 5 reasons why Arsenal will still finish above Spurs come the end of May, I have even put money on it myself.
1. The Henry Factor
Now I know Arsenal only have Thierry Henry until the 26th of February where coincidently his last game of the loan spell could be against Spurs at the Emirates. The arrival of Thierry at Arsenal has undoubtably given fans a boost and the team look excited for him to be back. The devastating prospect of the pairing of Robin Van Persie and Thierry Henry in the forward line will scare teams half to death, even the introduction of Henry from the bench with 20 minutes to go as we saw against Leeds, could make all the difference.
2. Fixtures against ‘Top 6’ clubs
By ‘top 6’ I mean City, United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool. Both Spurs and Arsenal have 5 fixtures left against ‘Top 6’ clubs, one of them being against each other at The Emirates, which I fully expect Arsenal to win and gain revenge for earlier on in the season. 4 out of the 5 fixtures for Arsenal against ‘Top 6’ clubs at The Emirates, only the game against Liverpool is away. However Spurs have to travel away for 4 out of 5 of their fixtures against ‘Top 6’ clubs, the only fixture at home is United. I believe this to be the most important factor as to why Arsenal will trump Spurs in the end. I expect Arsenal to do well at the Emirates and in their only away game against Liverpool, I expect them to take 9 points from their 5 games with 2 wins and 3 draws. However I just can’t see Spurs going away and getting points from Chelsea, Arsenal, City and Liverpool. I have them down as collecting 0 points from their 5 games against ‘Top 6 Clubs’.
3. Injuries/Players coming back
Arsenal have been hit hard with injuries this season, especially to their back line. However in upcoming weeks Arsenal are expected to welcome back Sagna, Gibbs, Santos, Diaby and of course Jack Wilshere, who has been out all season. These are 5 great players who have been absent for the majority of Arsenal’s season so far. The only positive Arsenal have been able to muster in regards to injuries is keeping Van Persie fit. Spurs so far have been very lucky in regards to injuries, they’ve managed to keep Ledley King fit for most of the season so far. However as we all know come the end of the season fatigue starts to kick in, already for tonight’s match against Everton, Spurs are without Gallas, King, Sandro and Parker. I still expect them to win but if an injury was to happen to Adebayor, Bale, Modric or Van der Vaart it would be interesting to see how Spurs would cope.
4. January Moves
Arsenal are expected to make moves this January window and have already moved quickly to bring Henry back. I expect the signing of a Full back on loan and who knows maybe a shock move for a winger. However with the players who are due back for Arsenal and the prospering form of Alex Chamberlain, I think Wenger may be alright with the squad he has. The problem Spurs have is whether they should bring someone in. Samba and Cahill are two players who Spurs have openly admitted being interested in, as well as Loic Remy from Marseille. Both Cahill and Samba have never been involved in a title race and I’m wondering whether Harry would want to upset the balance of his team, by bringing in Remy. If Spurs were to suffer injuries in the latter part of the season, the decision of Harry to/not to bring in new recruits could prove pivotal.
Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal Football Club now for 15 years, and never has he failed to bring Arsenal Champions League football to the Emirates. I fully expect Chelsea to push on in the second part of the season and move ahead of Arsenal and Spurs, which makes the fight between the two North London rivals, not only for bragging rights but for Champions League football. The whole of Arsenal’s team squad know what it takes to finish in the top 4, Harry has only been able to guide Spurs to 4th once in his career, missing out several times despite being in promising positions.
It will be close but I expect Arsenal to just sneak it by a few points, I expect it to go right to the wire but Arsenal will have Champions League football and bragging rights over Spurs come May. Below is what the table will look like.
1. Man City
2. Man United
Thanks for Reading