Paul Merson says: Heung-Min Son’s absence from north London derby an enormous blow for Tottenham


Paul Merson says Tottenham ahead Heung-Min Son’s absence from the north London derby – stay on Sky Sports activities on Tremendous Sunday – offers Arsenal an enormous benefit as each side look to land a big blow within the race for the Premier League’s prime 4.

The north London rivals face off in a sport which might go a way in direction of deciding who finishes fourth and qualifies for the Champions League subsequent season. The Gunners sit two factors above Tottenham, however Antonio Conte’s group have two video games in hand and a win on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would see Spurs go above their neighbours.

Nonetheless, Spurs can be with out Son, who’s prone to be out of motion for the remainder of the month after choosing up a muscle damage in his facet’s 2-Zero defeat to Chelsea within the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.

Former Arsenal participant Merson thinks the Korean, who has scored 9 objectives up to now this season and in addition has 5 objectives in his final eight video games towards Arsenal in all competitions, can be an enormous miss.

Learn on for the Magic Man’s verdict on this Sunday’s north London derby…


Stay Renault Tremendous Sunday


Sunday 16th January 4:00pm

‘An enormous sport; Arsenal cam make large assertion with win’

Gabriel gestures after scoring Arsenal's third goal of the game (AP)
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Arsenal have recovered from being backside of the desk heading into the primary worldwide to being in prime 4 rivalry

This can be a large sport.

Tottenham have video games in hand within the race for fourth and in the event that they beat Arsenal they are going to be above them and have these video games in hand to come back. That might be a extremely robust place to be in.

Nonetheless, if Arsenal can go to Spurs and win it will be a serious end result for the Gunners.

You have to say Arsenal [have improved more this season]. They had been backside of the league going into the worldwide break. It was their worst begin to the season in who is aware of how lengthy, however now they’re proper within the combine for Champions League qualification. They’re within the prime 4 race, which they need to be anyway, however after the beginning they’d truthful play to them.

Tottenham’s key fixtures…

  • Arsenal (A) – Sunday Jan 16; kick-off 4.30pm (stay on Sky)
  • Leicester (A) – Wednesday Jan 19; kick-off 7.30pm
  • Chelsea (A) – Sunday Jan 23; kick-off 4.30 (stay on Sky)
  • Wolves (H) – Sunday Feb 13; kick-off 2pm
  • Man Metropolis (A) – Saturday Feb 19; kick-off 5.30pm (stay on Sky)
  • Manchester United (A) – Saturday Mar 12; kick-off 3pm
  • West Ham (H) – Saturday Mar 19; kick-off 3pm
  • Brighton (H) – Saturday Apr 16; kick-off 3pm
  • Leicester (H) – Saturday Apr 30; kick-off 3pm
  • Liverpool (A) – Saturday Could 7; kick-off 3pm

Arsenal’s key fixtures…

  • Tottenham (A) – Sunday Jan 16; kick-off 4.30pm (stay on Sky)
  • Wolves (A) – Thursday Feb 10; kick-off 7.45pm
  • Leicester (H) – Saturday March 12; kick-off 3pm
  • Brighton (H), Saturday April 9; kick-off 3pm
  • Manchester United (H), Saturday April 23; kick-off 3pm
  • West Ham (A) – Saturday April 30; kick-off 3pm
  • Chelsea (A) – TBC
  • Liverpool (H), TBC.

It is a large turnaround from Mikel Arteta and his facet, however they now have to hold it on.

I believed the Nottingham Forest sport was an enormous sport and I solely say that as a result of it retains the squad glad. It offers the perimeter gamers one other sport and makes Arteta’s job simpler. He was fuming after the sport as a result of now he is aware of it’s exhausting work. He’ll have the perimeter gamers at all times asking why they don’t seem to be enjoying and earlier than, he had the cup video games to play these gamers in.

It was a nasty end result for Arsenal as a result of they’re solely enjoying as soon as per week anyway. The very last thing they need is two-week breaks. They need to be enjoying soccer now.

‘Carabao Cup defeat at Chelsea not so dangerous for Conte’

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Good Morning Transfers’ Jess Creighton reviews that Tottenham would think about affords for Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Matt Doherty this month

For Antonio Conte and Spurs, I believed the Chelsea defeat within the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final was an excellent end result. It would sound foolish, however I believed it was the form of end result that may kick-start the board into some motion the place they appear and say ‘we’d like some gamers as a result of are one million miles away right here’.

They had been in all probability pondering they had been effective. That they had a terrific supervisor, they had been successful video games they usually perhaps thought they may not have to purchase anybody. However now, Chelsea eased previous them after which they struggled towards Morecambe [in the FA Cup], and now they’re pondering they’ve to purchase some gamers.

In that sense, that is why I do not suppose that Chelsea defeat was such a nasty end result for Conte. I would say a nasty end result for Spurs and the followers, however an excellent end result for Conte as a result of now he can usher in some gamers.

Smith’s Tottenham verdict…

Sky Sports activities’ Alan Smith assesses Spurs’ possibilities of a top-four end:

“Antonio Conte has achieved rather a lot in a really brief area of time at Tottenham.

“There may be nonetheless quite a lot of work to do at Spurs however by way of the brief time period repair, Conte has gone about it cleverly as a way to give him a while. As he stated after the defeat to Chelsea within the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, he wants time and endurance as a way to overhaul that group and get it again to what it was at instances below Mauricio Pochettino.

“I believe there are just a few extra questions marks within the beginning line-up than there may be inside West Ham and Arsenal. The defence can actually be improved by way of particular person high quality and he mixes and matches at instances in midfield, however they do have a terrific three-man strike pressure.

“Conte has acquired his work reduce out, although. To complete fourth can be a improbable achievement for the Italian.

“Conte would be the key for Spurs if they’re to get into the highest 4. You’d think about he has funds to enhance the squad in any other case he would not have taken the job. So, will probably be attention-grabbing to see what occurs in January after which in the summertime and how much participant he goes for.

“It was a sobering efficiency from Spurs towards Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and it perhaps made him realise the job is even greater than he thought.”

‘North London derby large once more’

Tottenham vs Arsenal
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Tottenham vs Arsenal is stay on Sky Sports activities on Sunday

The north London derby has as soon as once more change into one of many prime video games. It is a large sport once more now.

Years in the past, I believe Arsene Wenger modified the context of the north London derby as a result of Arsenal had been too profitable, and Spurs weren’t an enormous fish in any respect. Manchester United and Chelsea had been the video games for Arsenal.

However now we’re again to this sport being enormous as a result of whereas each golf equipment aren’t title contenders, they’re at an identical stage and striving to go to the highest stage once more.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Spurs earlier within the season

If you cannot win the title, end within the prime 4 or win a cup, a win within the north London derby is 100 per cent minimal requirement for Arsenal or Spurs.

That is the place the 2 groups have gone in recent times. That is the cup last for each Spurs and Arsenal.

It is a large sport for each side. As I stated, if Spurs win and with their video games in hand, you’d suppose they’d be exhausting to catch. Nonetheless, if Arsenal go there and get a press release win it will be enormous.

They already beat them on the Emirates Stadium so a win would see them do the double over Spurs and, take away the Nottingham Forest end result, you’d have a look at Arsenal and say they’re shifting ahead. They’re going someplace.

Smith’s Arsenal verdict…

Sky Sports activities’ Alan Smith assess Arsenal’s top-four probabilities:

“The Gunners look firmly within the combine for that final Champions League spot, particularly if they’ll sustain the extent of efficiency they confirmed towards Manchester Metropolis final day out.

“I did have my doubts about Mikel Arteta’s facet. It was apparent they had been enhancing below the Spaniard however as to whether or not they might clinch fourth was one other matter. Nonetheless, I believe the Man Metropolis efficiency, regardless of the end result, gave each Arsenal fan and anyone concerned within the membership quite a lot of confidence.

“Now, there is no purpose why they can not have a look at that fourth place and suppose they’re in with a terrific probability.

“What Arsenal might want to do is shed that tag of being flat-track bullies and present they’ll proceed to compete with the perfect, particularly with journeys to Spurs and Chelsea not distant.

“The indicators towards Metropolis had been very promising and the factor about Arsenal is there’s a stability about them by way of their group. Other than one or two locations perhaps you possibly can say what their greatest group is and Arteta is managing that properly.

“In the meanwhile, they’ve not had too many accidents to key gamers and if they’ll maintain that every one collectively there’s a nice understanding between all of them. Everyone is aware of their particular person roles and that has to face them in good stead as we get into the ultimate phases of the season.”

‘Son’s absence enormous for Spurs’

Heung-Min Son shows his frustration at full time
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Heung-Min Son is prone to be out for the remainder of the month with a muscle damage

Heung-Min Son’s absence is big.

I believe Arsenal win at Spurs as a result of Son is lacking. He is an enormous miss for Spurs, particularly on this sport. He has been Arsenal’s Achilles heel in current seasons.

For me, Arsenal may have an excessive amount of going ahead for Spurs. If Tottenham play as they did final season [in a 2-0 home win in December 2020] and provides Arsenal the entire ball, I believe the Gunners are a greater group this yr and might harm them.

Arsenal had all of the ball within the sport final season however by no means regarded like scoring. Now, although, the aptitude gamers are enjoying so significantly better for Arsenal than what they had been then, and that could possibly be essential.

Mikel Arteta’s facet even have extra confidence this time round and if Spurs sit again, for me there is just one winner.

Watch Tottenham vs Arsenal stay on Sky Sports activities Premier League from 4.15pm on Sunday; kick-off 4.30pm



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