I'm so, so sorry for this. This is the only negative piece we're running this week. I swear.
There aren't a lot of good reasons to believe that Arsenal will beat Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Spurs have the better squad, even with Sandro out, have the best player between the two teams, are in better form, and are at home. The gap between the two teams has closed considerably since the days of Thierry Henry, and Spurs probably would have picked up a result at the Emirates this fall if Emmanuel Adebayor hadn't been sent off.
However, football is crazy, and the Premier League is crazier. While Spurs are the better side and all signs point to them pulling off a win, there are plenty of ways that Arsenal could win the match, because they're not that much worse than Tottenham. They're only two places behind Spurs in the table in a league where the last-placed team is good enough to beat anyone. Gooners have some reasons to believe.
Here are a few of those reasons.
(I promise this is the first and last negative thing I will write about the Derby. All positive from here on out.)
Emmanuel Adebayor is still nuts
Who's seen anything from Adebayor that suggests that he's a totally changed player from the guy who got sent off in the first derby of the season? And even if he did look a disciplined player, he still might revert to being batshit crazy against Arsenal.
The next three are all about Gareth Bale.
Gareth Bale can't do everything
Seriously though, do we know what will happen if Arsenal just triple-man mark him? Theoretically there will be space open for other players to exploit -- Aaron Lennon had a pretty great game against Manchester United when they focused too heavily on Bale -- but we really know that we'll get it done if Arsenal decide to focus on one dude? We almost threw away that United result, and the finish for the equalizer wasn't even good.
Gareth Bale can disappear from games even when he's not triple-marked
Sure, he hasn't actually done that since December, but it's still a thing that he's done in the past. This is the first time in his career that he's put together 10ish great performances in a row. And that leads us to...
Gareth Bale might come back to earth eventually
Are we sure he just has permanent class at this point? I'd like to think so, but I need to see more before declaring it.
Okay, enough on how Gareth Bale is potentially going to disappear. Back to some other things.
Sometimes, Santi Cazorla goes HAM
He's been really crap lately, but he had a storming start to the season, a storming year at Malaga last year and a storming year before that at Villarreal. Dude is good and can score random ass goals from 35 yards. I have a sinking feeling we're going to be undone by one of these.
They up their game for us
Maybe this is just some bullshit my negative Spurs DNA is making me parrot, and it's not true at all, but it feels like they rise to the occasion and bring their best for derbies. Like, even when they're shit, they'll always have this. You'd think that, as the "bigger" team and much more successful team, Arsenal would have more important thing to worry about than a local rivalry game against a team that only recently got back up to their level for the first time since the 1980s, but apparently we're really freaking important to them. They get up for the game more than Tottenham's players have since Wenger took over. If we treat this like just another game and they treat it like it's their whole season, I'm going to be pissed.
We're still Spurs
We thought Harry Redknapp killed this off. He didn't. Who's to say AVB's killed off "same old Spurs" for good?