Arsenal take on Tottenham this weekend in a north London derby made all the more intriguing by the narrative before it.
Arsenal, unbeaten since the opening day and looking to mount their first sustained title challenge in over a decade, take on a Spurs side who remain without defeat in the Premier League but whose form has seriously started to wobble lately.
The Spurs manager is yet to taste in this fixture in the league (one win, three draws), and knows that maintaining that record is vital to the side’s Premier League hopes.
Should Arsene Wenger’s side get the victory, it could leave Tottenham playing catch-up on their rivals which even at this early stage of the season is a problem – doubly so if Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City also win their respective games this weekend.
However, Mauricio Pochettino’s side’s early season form cannot be forgotten, especially their brilliant 2-0 win against Man City in October, and as such several of their players retain the highest stats in the league this season for their respective positions.
An Arsenal/Tottenham XI, therefore, between two teams near the top of the league, is always going to leave some high-profile names out.
(Data obtained from prominent statistics website Whoscored.com)
Hugo Lloris (Tottenham)
Whoscored Rating: 6.9 (Next in Line: Petr Cech – 6.8)
Right-Back: Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
Whoscored Rating: 7.35 (Next in Line: Héctor Bellerín – 7.09)
Centre-Back: Shkodran Mustafi (Arsenal)
Whoscored Rating: 7.46 (Next in Line: Toby Alderweireld – 7.05)
Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Whoscored Rating: 7.64 (Next in Line: Jan Vertonghen – 7.33)
Left-Back: Danny Rose (Tottenham)
Whoscored Rating: 7.52 (Next in Line: Nacho Monreal 7.18)
Centre-Midfield: Victor Wanyama (Tottenham)
Whoscored Rating: 7.23 (Next in Line: Santi Cazorla – 7.04)
Centre-Midfield: Francis Coquelin (Arsenal)
Whoscored Rating: 7.12 (Next in Line: Mousa Dembélé – 7.05)
Attacking Midfield/Number Ten: Mesut Özil
Whoscored Rating: 7.38 (Next in Line: Dele Alli – 7.05)
Right Wing: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Whoscored Rating: 7.63 (Next in Line: Christian Eriksen – 7.1)
Left Wing: Son Heung-Min (Tottenham)
Whoscored Rating: 7.7 (Next in Line: Alex Iwobi – 6.75)
Striker: Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal)
Whoscored Rating: 7.9 (Next in Line: Harry Kane – 7.13)