In Review

Arsenal vs Spurs: Kane fit - but Gunners have the firepower

Tottenham have had a poor run over the last few weeks, while their north London rivals are going great guns

  Spurs have been given a boost ahead of Sunday's north London derby with Arsenal after striker Harry Kane was passed fit to play.

The England forward, who has not been seen since September, is now expected to be in the starting XI.

Tottenham Hotspur are unbeaten in the Premier League, but have not won a game since defeating Manchester City on 2 October. 

After being beaten by Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday night, they are also in danger of sliding off the pace in the title race, with Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all three points ahead.

Victory would see them draw level with the Gunners on points, but defeat would leave them trailing by six.

Given their current run of poor form and the importance of the game, manager Mauricio Pochettino may decide to restore Kane to the starting line-up. "It would be no surprise if the Argentinian opted against easing him in gently from the bench, especially as Kane has four north London derby goals to his name so far," says The Independent.

While Spurs have struggled in recent weeks, Arsenal have been in fine form and are unbeaten in all competitions since the opening day of the season. Despite a wobble against Ludogorets in the Champions League midweek, they recovered from two goals down to win in Bulgaria.

They've also been rampant in front of goal, scoring 18 in their past six games – Spurs, in contrast, 

have struggled without Kane, only hitting the back of the net three times over the same period.

That could focus attention on the Spurs defence, which will still be without Toby Alderweireld, who is as important to the cause as Kane.

With Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and newly returned Olivier Giroud in goal-scoring form and the born-again Theo Walcott hoping to be available after a hamstring strain, Sunday's game represents the "biggest test yet" for the Spurs defence, says Thore Haugstad of FourFourTwo.

He adds: "Wenger could wheel out artillery of such weight that Spurs will do well to survive it."

But Danny Murphy, of the BBC, believes Spurs's recent travails, culminating in the poor performance at Wembley, could inspire them.

"Sometimes a defeat and a horrible performance like that can give you the kick up the backside you need before another big game," he says. 

"For Spurs, it doesn't get any bigger than Arsenal. If they can put on a positive performance at Emirates Stadium on Sunday and get a positive result then their other recent results are forgotten."

Spurs at 'low ebb', while Arsenal have injury worries ahead of Derby

3 November

Huge Lloris admits that another Champions League defeat has damaged Spurs, but Gunners have a defensive injury crisis

Usually it is Arsenal that dread November, but ahead of Sunday's north London derby, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris has admitted that Tottenham could not be in a "worse situation".

Although the Lilywhites remain unbeaten in the Premier League, they have slipped to fifth place after three consecutive draws. Defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League leaves them on the verge of an early exit from the competition.

They head to the Emirates on Sunday on a run of six games without a win and have scored only three goals since beating Manchester City a month ago.

Talking after the defeat to Leverkusen, Lloris said: "We need to question ourselves... We worked a lot last season to get into the Champions League and we cannot waste everything. We need to be ready for the next two games and try to get the miracle.

"It is difficult to accept that kind of performance from us. We need to learn quickly because there is a big game on Sunday."

The impact ahead of Sunday's game will be more than just a mental one after Mousa Dembele was forced off in the first half at Wembley.

"A disappointing night for Tottenham was compounded by the loss of Mousa Dembele in the first half with a hamstring injury that could rule him out of the north London derby at Arsenal on Sunday," says The Times. The paper adds: "Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld are unlikely to be fit to start and Moussa Sissoko is suspended."

It means that Spurs will be at a "low ebb" ahead of the north London derby, says The Guardian.

But Arsenal are not without problems, notes the Daily Mirror. The paper reports that Arsene Wenger is sweating over the fitness of four players ahead of the game.

"Kieran Gibbs is the latest to join the casualty list after hurting his shoulder during Arsenal's Champions League win in Ludogorets on Tuesday night. That is on top of Nacho Monreal also being a doubt which could leave Arsenal without a senior left back for Sunday's lunchtime kick-off against Tottenham," says the paper.

"Santi Cazorla is expected to miss out because of an Achilles injury while Theo Walcott has the best chance of being fit after a hamstring problem."


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