Paul Merson says: Heung-Min Son’s absence from north London derby a big blow for Tottenham | Football News

Paul Merson says Tottenham striker Heung-Min Son’s absence from the north London derby – continues Sky Sports employment Super Sunday It gives Arsenal a huge advantage as both sides look to strike a blow in the race for the top four in the Premier League.

North London rivals face off in a match that could go a long way toward determining who will finish fourth and qualify for the Champions League next season. Arsenal sit two points above Tottenham, but Antonio Conte’s side have two games in hand and a win at Tottenham Hotspur would see Spurs edge over their neighbours.

However, Spurs will be without Son, who is likely to be out for the rest of the month after suffering a muscle injury in his team’s 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Merson, the former Arsenal player, believes that the Korean, who has scored nine goals so far this season and also has five goals in his last eight games against Arsenal in all competitions, will lose out significantly.

Read on to find out the Magic Man’s verdict on Sunday’s North London Derby…

Long live Renault Super Sunday

Sunday January 16 4:00 pm


Huge game; Arsenal cam score big win

Gabriel points after scoring Arsenal's third goal of the match (AP)
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Arsenal recovered from their first place in the standings before entering their first international match to fourth in the standings

This is a huge game.

Tottenham have matches in hand in the race for fourth place and if they beat Arsenal they will be above them and they will have those matches in hand. This would be a really solid position to be in.

However, if Arsenal can go to Tottenham and win it will be a huge result for Arsenal.

You have to say Arsenal [have improved more this season]. They were bottom of the league during the international break. It was the worst start to the season who knows how long, but now they are right to qualify for the Champions League. They are in the first four races, which they should be anyway, but after the start they played a fair game with them.

The main matches of Tottenham…

  • Arsenal (A) – Sunday, January 16th; Kick-off at 4.30pm (Live on Sky)
  • Leicester (A) – Wednesday, January 19; Match kicks off 7:30 pm
  • Chelsea (A) – Sunday, January 23; kickoff 4.30 (live on sky)
  • Wolverhampton (H) – Sunday, February 13th; Match starts 2 pm
  • Man City (A) – Saturday, February 19; Match kick-off 5:30 pm (Live on Sky)
  • Manchester United (A) – Saturday 12 March; Match starts at 3 pm
  • West Ham (H) – Saturday 19 March; Match starts at 3 pm
  • Brighton (inside the ground) – Saturday, April 16th; Match starts at 3 pm
  • Leicester (inside the ground) – Saturday, April 30th; Match starts at 3 pm
  • Liverpool (A) – Saturday 7 May; Match starts at 3 pm

Arsenal’s main matches…

  • Tottenham (A) – Sunday, January 16; Kick-off at 4.30pm (Live on Sky)
  • Wolves (A) – Thursday, February 10; Kick-off 7.45pm
  • Leicester (inside the ground) – Saturday, March 12th; Match starts at 3 pm
  • Brighton (inside ground), Saturday 9 April; Match starts at 3 pm
  • Manchester United (H), Saturday 23 April; Match starts at 3 pm
  • West Ham (A) – Saturday 30 April; Match starts at 3 pm
  • Chelsea (A) – TBC
  • Liverpool (at home), TBC.

It’s a huge turnaround from Mikel Arteta and his side, but now they have to move on.

I thought the Nottingham Forest game was a big game and I only say that because it keeps the team happy. It gives players the margin for another game and makes Arteta’s job easier. He was furious after the match because he now knows it’s hard work. He would always have sideline players always asking why they weren’t playing and before that, he had cup matches to play those players.

It was a bad result for Arsenal because they only play once a week anyway. The last thing they want is two-week breaks. They want to play football now.

Losing the Carabao Cup against Chelsea isn’t too bad for Conte

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Jess Creighton of Good Morning Transfers reports that Tottenham will consider offers from Tanguy Ndombele, Dele Alli and Matt Doherty this month.

For Antonio Conte and Tottenham, I thought defeating Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg was a good result. It might sound silly, but I thought the outcome would kick the board into some action where they look and say ‘we need some guys because we’re a million miles away here’.

Maybe they think they’re okay. They had a great manager, they were winning matches and probably thought they might not have to buy anyone. But now, Chelsea overtook them and then fought back against Morecambe [in the FA Cup]Now they think they should buy some players.

In that sense, that’s why I don’t think Chelsea’s defeat was a bad result for Conte. I will say a bad result for Tottenham and the fans, but it is a good result for Conte because now he can sign some players.

Smith Spurs referee…

Sky Sports’ Alan Smith assesses Tottenham’s chances of reaching the top four:

“Antonio Conte has achieved a lot in a very short period of time at Tottenham.

“There is still a lot of work to be done at Tottenham but in terms of short-term fix, Conte has done it cleverly in order to give him some time. As he said after the defeat to Chelsea in Carabao’s first leg. In the cup semi-final, he needs time and patience. In order to reform this team and bring it back to what it was at times under the leadership of Mauricio Pochettino.

“I think there are a few question marks in the starting line-up than within West Ham and Arsenal. The defense can certainly be improved in terms of individual quality and they mix and play games sometimes in midfield, but they have a great three-man striking force.

“Conte has his work cut out, and to finish fourth would be a great achievement for the Italian.

“Conte will be the key for Tottenham if they want to get into the top four. You can imagine he had the money to improve the team otherwise he wouldn’t have taken the job. So it will be interesting to see what happens in January and then in the summer and what kind of player he would choose.

“It was a fantastic performance by Tottenham against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and it probably made him realize that the task is bigger than he thought.”

“The Great North London Derby Again”

Tottenham vs Arsenal
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The match between Tottenham and Arsenal will be broadcast on Sky Sports on Sunday

The North London derby has once again become one of the best matches. It’s a big game again now.

Years ago, I think Arsene Wenger changed the context of the north London derby because Arsenal were so successful, and Tottenham weren’t a big fish at all. The Manchester United and Chelsea matches were Arsenal matches.

But now we are back in this huge game because while both clubs are not contenders for the title, they are at the same level and are striving to reach the top level again.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over Tottenham earlier this season

If you can’t win the title, finish in the top four, or win a cup, winning the north London derby is 100 per cent minimum requirement for Arsenal or Tottenham.

This is where both teams have been in recent years. This is the cup final for both Tottenham and Arsenal.

It’s a huge match for both sides. Like I said, if Tottenham win and with their matches on hand, you’d think it would be difficult to catch them. However, if Arsenal went there and got the winning score, that would be huge.

They have already beaten them at the Emirates Stadium, so a win will make them do the double over Tottenham, and pull the score of Nottingham Forest, you will look at Arsenal and say they are moving forward. They are going somewhere.

Smith Arsenal referee…

Alan Smith of Sky Sports assesses Arsenal’s first four chances:

“Arsenal are looking very strongly in the mix for their last place in the Champions League, especially if they can maintain the level of performance they showed against Manchester City last time.

“I had doubts about Mikel Arteta’s team. It was clear that they were improving under the Spaniard but as to whether they could win fourth place was another matter. However, I think the performance of Man City, regardless of the result, gave every Arsenal fan Anyone who participates in the club has a great deal of confidence.

“Now, there’s no reason why they can’t look at that fourth place and think they stand a great chance.

“What Arsenal will need to do is to get rid of this sign of being bullies on the flat track and show that they can continue to compete with the best, especially with trips to Tottenham and Chelsea not far away.

“The signs against City were very promising and the thing about Arsenal is that there is stability in them in terms of their team. Aside from a place or two you can probably say what their best team is and Arteta is managing that really well.

“At the moment, they have not had a lot of injuries to the key players and if they can keep that together, there is a great understanding between all of them. Everyone knows their individual roles and that should put them in good shape when we get in the final stages of the season.”

Son’s absence is massive for Tottenham

Hyung Min Soon shows his frustration full time
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Hyung Min Soon will likely be out for the rest of the month due to a muscle injury

Hyung Min Soon’s absence is huge.

I think Arsenal beat Tottenham because Son is missing. It’s a huge mistake for Spurs, especially in this game. He has been Arsenal’s Achilles heel in recent seasons.

For me, Arsenal will have a lot of progress with Tottenham. If Tottenham play like they did last season [in a 2-0 home win in December 2020] And giving Arsenal all the ball, I think Arsenal are a better team this year and could hurt them.

Arsenal had all the ball in the game last season but never looked like a goal scorer. Now, though, the top players are playing for Arsenal a lot better than they were at the time, and that could be critical.

Mikel Arteta’s team has more confidence this time and if Spurs relax, there is only one winner for me.

Watch the Tottenham vs Arsenal match live on Sky Sports Premier League from 4.15pm on Sunday; Match kicks off 4:30 p.m

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