Buoyed by the return of Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur will look to arrest their current slump and improve their dismal record at the Emirates Stadium in Sunday’s derby against Arsenal.
Though they remain the last unbeaten team in the Premier League, Tottenham have gone six games without victory in all competitions since their stunning 2-0 defeat of Manchester City a month ago.
Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen left them in third place in their Champions League group and manager Mauricio Pochettino concedes that preparation for the 179th North London derby has not been ideal.
“It’s true that we are not in a positive situation,” said the Argentine, whose side are fifth in the table ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, three points below second-place Arsenal.
“In the six games after Manchester City we have struggled to win games – four draws and two defeats. We are very conscious about that. We need to work hard and try more than before.
“We are in a difficult moment, but in football you always need to be ready to change the dynamic and we have a very good opportunity on Sunday to go to the Emirates and try to win the game.”
Pochettino is yet to lose a league game against Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, winning one and drawing three of their four encounters, although he did taste defeat against him in last season’s League Cup.
Spurs have won just once at Arsenal since May 1993 – a 3-2 success in November 2010 – but will draw encouragement from Kane’s return to fitness after seven weeks out with an ankle ligament injury.
The 23-year-old England striker has scored four goals in his three league games against Arsenal, and although he is understandably short of match fitness, Pochettino says he could start.
In Kane’s absence, Spurs have scored only three goals in their last six games and have not scored from open play in the last five.
Midfielder Mousa Dembele faces a late fitness test on a foot problem, but centre-back Toby Alderweireld (leg) and winger Erik Lamela (hip) are definitely out, while Moussa Sissoko is suspended.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate