Preview: North London derby set to take centre stage

For the second time in just over a year, Arsenal and Spurs will face each other at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the North London derby.

Arsenal will come away from home eager for three points to better their chances of taking third spot in the league. Spurs will be hoping to build momentum and grab their first win since mid-January.

Meanwhile, the Gunners will be on a season-high from an emphatic 2-0 victory over Manchester United. Despite an empty stadium, the occasion will remain its momentous self. Over 38,000 fans witnessed a Montemurro masterclass the last time these two met here. Can Arsenal paint the town red again?

Recent form

Tottenham Hotspur

Without a win since January, Spurs have been settling for the odd draw since. Out of their last six fixtures, four of them have been losses. Two draws have come most recently from Reading and Bristol City – thanks to a Siri Worm free-kick. Their play has been lacking that final finish and the key to unlocking defences.

In their win against West Ham on 17th January they managed to grab the win with their only shot on target. Despite the Irons looking more dangerous in front of goal, the one-shot was all it took. Results like these show they can’t be written off. With quality in their side, they may just pop up with a goal at any time.

Arsenal

From one big occasion to the next. Three points at Meadow Park against United will be their fuel going into this game. A display of quality football from start to finish meant they edged closer to Champions League football, and it was now in their hands. Momentum has surely kicked in now as the Gunners are on three straight wins – a form that looked distant due to their shaky start to the season.

A draw, two losses, and three winners in their last six games. A mixed bag of results for the Borehamwood residents means any result can be taken from this North London Derby. With Tottenham’s unpredictability, Arsenal will need to keep focus for every second of the 90.

Ones to watch

Tottenham HotspurAlana Kennedy

With the ability to go forward as a midfielder and drop in as a defender, Alana Kennedy is the face of versatility. Experience at international level with Australia has been a breath of fresh air to Spurs’ squad. She has showcased time after time that her reading of the game and exquisite passing is enough to keep her in Rheanne Skinners starting eleven.

A vital player for both club and country, the 26-year-old could prove to be the difference between a repeat of last times results, or a different story. With her being a Matilda, and playing alongside Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord, she’ll have a good idea of how to contain the forward bombing down the sides. An advantage she’ll no doubt use with the form Foord is in.

Arsenal – Lotte Wubben-Moy

A goal and a clean sheet as a defender in the biggest game of the season – just another day for Lotte. Since re-joining Arsenal from the American college system, she has been a real asset to any centre-back pairing. Her phenomenal performance against United sealed her team the win and herself the POTM award.

For being just 22 years old, the London native plays with such maturity. Her grit to win every ball is unmatched, and passion when doing so too. Forward runs into the middle are a key factor in Wubben-Moy’s play. These runs often end with a sweet through ball into Foord, Mead or Miedema. A real play-maker from the back, and a name that is rising with each game she plays.

Last league meeting

6-1 was the final score the last time these two went head-to-head. Katie McCabe started the scoring with a sublime free-kick that would go on to be a contender for Arsenal’s goal of the month. Miedema picked up a hat-trick and Foord, a brace. Spurs didn’t let them leave with a clean sheet though as Lucìa Leon managed to pull one back for her side in the 77th minute.

On paper, the Gunners were the better side as well as physically. 69% of the possession was kept by a red shirt and 652 passes made within it. A defender scoring alongside two forwards shows the depth within Arsenal’s team. Tottenham can’t expect all the goals to come from the quality at the front, they can very easily be put in the net from anyone in the park.

How to watch

The North London derby will be available to watch on The FA Player from 3:30 pm – live from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Live updates can be found on @HerFootballHub on Twitter.

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