Arsenal take on North London rivals Spurs today at Emirates Stadium live on Sky Sports 1 in the dinner time kick off (12.45).
The corresponding fixture ended 4-4 last season and came a matter of days after Redknapp took the job, it is the perfect opportunity to see just how far Spurs have come under Redknapp’s leadership as in all honesty Arsenal were by far the better side last year and should have beat Spurs convincingly.
In the above mentioned game Spurs were helped by an early wonder goal (although I would call it a goalkeeping error) by David Bentley who has hardly been seen since and hung in there and at the end took advantage of a calamitous final 10 minutes to claim an unlikely draw.
This year should be different, the squad is now mainly a Harry Redknapp one and is there to be judged on its performance. Robbie Keane certainly rates it as he has already stated that the Spurs bench is stronger than the Arsenal bench, a remark I would imagine has been taken out of context and remixed by journalists, never the less not a wise one and it would already have done a large amount of Wenger’s team talk for him.
It could be said though that the Spurs squad isn’t as strong as the Arsenal one is, Luka Modric is still out with a long term injury and Harry Redknapp hasn’t been able to replace him. In Arsenal’s case if their main ball player – Cesc Fabregas – was out they have youngsters Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere waiting in the wings to step in.
The loss of Modric has and will continue to be felt by Tottenham and last weeks match with Stoke is a perfect example were they dominated proceedings but couldn’t find that bit of craft or guile to open Stoke and surely the floodgates up.
In today’s game David Bentley looks set to come back into replace the injured Aaron Lennon after Harry Redknapp stated he has impressed in training lately and looks to have got his head down. Jermain Defoe is still suspended so Peter Crouch will continue up front in his absence.
For Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone is set to be replaced by Manuel Almunia who has now fully recovered from a chest infection, Theo Walcott, Denilson and Tomas Rosicky are still out injured but Samir Nasri is available again but more than likely will only figure on the bench.
A bet I like is both teams to score at