Arsene Wenger hopes to keep Harry Kane quiet by taking the game to Tottenham and defending as a team.
Kane has been a thorn in Arsenal’s side since he emerged as one of Europe’s top strikers.
The 24-year-old has scored six goals in seven games against us, a record that has a played a large part in Tottenham’s improvement in North London derbies.
With 31 goals in 32 games in all competitions this season, Kane is clearly the danger man.
Wenger has outlined a very basic approach to keeping him quiet.
“The answer will be on Saturday. We can talk and talk and talk, but at the end of the day it is the numbers that will show that. The best way to defend is for us to have the ball and to take the game to them, and after – when we don’t have the ball – to defend as a team,” he said, as reported by Arsenal.com.
Arsenal managed to do just as Wenger described in the 2-0 win over Tottenham earlier this season.
That game saw Arsenal press Spurs aggressively, look for direct passes up to the forwards and then defend with nearly everyone behind the ball.
It took a tremendous amount of hard work from the players, but there was no doubting its effectiveness.
Wenger will also be hoping that his strikers are in good form to take any chances that fall their way.
While he’s acknowledged that there might no better striker in Europe than Kane at the moment, he’s backing his own players to shine.
“If you look at the numbers, no [there is no better striker in Europe], because he has high numbers. What you want in a game like that is to keep him quiet and our strikers, who are top class in Europe as well, to express their talent.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been as prolific as Kane in recent seasons.
It’ll be down to him to pop up with the goals on Saturday afternoon.
“The [new] players know [the significance of this fixture] because we’ve had many players who have been here for years,” Wenger added.
“The good thing in sport is that you have to find a good balance between being rational and and emotional. As much as you have to certainly be emotionally-charged because of the importance of the game and needing to get the high energy level, once you’re on the pitch you have to be calm, focused and make good decisions.
“That’s why you can’t let the emotions take over. At the end of the day, it’s down to making good decisions on the football pitch.
“It is a big game because we are behind in the table and we have to catch up. I must say that personally, it’s more important mathematically for us to come back as quickly as possible, rather than it being emotionally-charged.
“I’ve known the importance of this game for more than 20 years but for us, it’s an opportunity to come back in the table and get closer to the Champions League spots.
“That is the priority.”