Tottenham vs Arsenal: 3 key battles in a huge North London Derby

  • Arsenal meet Tottenham in the North London Derby on Sunday
  • Both sides still have a lot to play for this campaign
  • Gunners need a win to keep pressure on Manchester City
A hugely significant North London Derby beckons
A hugely significant North London Derby beckons / Marc Atkins/GettyImages
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2. Thomas Partey vs Pape Sarr

Pape Matar Sarr, Thomas Partey
Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

How will Tottenham cope with the second instalment of the Thomas Partey/Declan Rice/Martin Odegaard midfield triumvirate?

Although Chelsea offered a pitiful test, Partey was still outstanding on Tuesday and showed Arsenal fans just what our stodgy attack has missed this season: winning the ball back on several occasions, passing quickly to exploit central gaps and regularly switching the play to get our left-sided forwards involved.

It is perhaps too much to say “what might have been” considering our current position, yet it cannot be denied that he brought a sense of purpose to the midfield and enabled Rice to operate in a #8 role without compromising our defensive solidity.

Partey’s impact is timely ahead of this late-season derby, and Pape Sarr might assume primary responsibility for restricting his influence.

Mostly rested at Newcastle a fortnight ago, Sarr is in prime condition for the NLD and has both the passing range and ball-carrying skills to make a Partey-esque impression himself. However, he does not always boast the same composure when under duress, and that could cause an issue if Arsenal look to make a fast start.

Partey has missed out for most of the campaign, so he owes us a strong run-in.

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