We are often told that a derby clash means that the form book goes out of the window and with Arsenal travelling to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham on Saturday, there is not that much difference in form or league position anyway. But I don’t think I am rare among Arsenal fans in feeling confident that the Gunners will get a result, because we are playing well all over the pitch and have a new solidity that makes us very hard to beat.
And the fact is that we need a result, a draw at the very least. To avoid being leapfrogged by the spuds for one thing but also because I think that this could be a crucial part of the season for the Gunners. The way that the fixtures have fallen and a few other little factors have given us an opportunity to catch up or overtake the teams above us and open up a gap on the chasing pack. A draw would put Arsenal into third place before the other clubs play.
According to ESPN the league leaders look set to be without Fabregas through injury as well as the suspended Costa for the next two games. They are away at Aston Villa and then at home to Everton and could drop points, helping us catch up as well as knocking their confidence and increasing the pressure.
Because of the Ivory Coast reaching the AFCON final, Man City will be without Toure and Bony foir the next two games as well. They should still easily beat Hull at home this weekend but then travel to Stoke on Wednesday and we know how hard that can be.
Man United have a tough trip to West Ham this weekend, Southampton are away to a QPR side fighting to impress a new manager and Liverpool have a derby clash away to Everton. And then Liverpool play the spuds in midweek while Southampton face West Ham.
So Arsene Wenger can reasonably expect a few of our rivals to be dropping points in the next few games, while we have Leicester and Crystal Palace after the derby. If the Gunners keep up our run then we could soon find ourselves in a much better looking position in the Premier League table before that massive home Champions League game with Monaco.
First things first though, Mash the Spuds!!