By Russell Edge
BBC Sport pundit Mark Lawrenson has said that he is expecting a dour showing from the north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on Saturday.
The clash, which kicks off at 12:30, will be the opening match of the weekend after the two week international break, and will see a Tottenham side sitting in third travel to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, with the Gunners four points behind their neighbours in sixth.
However, despite the promise of a feisty derby day, Lawrenson surirsingly admitted that he expects the quality of each side to result in an even, balanced contest and as a result deliver a disappointing display.
Predicting a 1-1 draw between the rivals, he wrote on the BBC Sport website: “This feels like a strange game to start us off again after two weeks without the Premier League.
“There has still been plenty of hype about it, but I think there would have been more without the international break.
“Will that hype be justified? Probably not. I have a feeling both teams will cancel each other out, and both of them will be happy enough with a point.
“Tottenham won their last game before the international break, against Crystal Palace, but they made hard work of it.
“They will be better this weekend, though, because Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks will all be back after missing out on England duty through injury.”
While Spurs come into the back of the clash off a 1-0 home win over the Eagles, Arsenal will be hoping to bounce back to winning ways after suffering a humbling 3-1 defeat to league leaders Manchester City before the two week hiatus for international fixtures.
The results mean that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are already eight points behind City in the title race, while they found themselves level on points with second placed Manchester United after they succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.