After last weekend’s action was overshadowed by the clash between Chelsea and Manchester City, Barclays Premier League fans have two iconic rivalries to look forward to Saturday.
In the first derby, North London will be invigorated by Arsenal traveling to White Hart Lane to face longtime bitter rival, Tottenham.
With the potential for the winner of this game to catapult into the crucial fourth position in the Premier League table, both Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino will look to use all of their soccer acumen.
For the Gunners, Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez will not be available, a crushing blow to a side that had benefited greatly from his energy and final third creativity. However, with Santi Cazorla being in great form as of late, the attacking flair Arsenal has lacked in the past at some points should be present.
For Spurs, their recent success should serve them well, particularly on the attack.
In midfield, Christian Eriksen has been pinging in free kicks like penalties, so the likes of Per Mertesacker will have to be sure not to concede any set pieces. In front of him, the young English striker Harry Kane has been an absolute revelation, becoming the first player this season in England to reach 20 goals across all competitions.
Moving north, Everton will be playing host to Liverpool in the return leg of their Merseyside derby in league play. In the first matchup, Phil Jagielka’s beauty of a stoppage time goal equalized play, so Roberto Martinez’s side will look to gain momentum a bit earlier on this go around.
On the other side, Brendan Rodgers recently welcomed Daniel Sturridge back into the fold after returning from injury, and his pace should offer an interesting contrast compared to fellow countryman Rickie Lambert and the disappointing Mario Balotelli.
With regular goalkeeper Tim Howard out with a calf injury, the likes of Leighton Baines will have to work that much harder to quell the Liverpool attack. As Baines’ Toffees slide further and further down the Premier League table, with their current position of 12th at the time of this writing, 3 points against their rivals in 7th could be huge both for momentum and for actual table placement.
As the Barclays Premier League hits its stride and moves closer and closer to the home stretch, these sorts of derbies become more and more important for any fan to see.