Dominant Arsenal extend lead after Emerson leaves Tottenham open for kill

arsenal vs spurs live score premier league derby latest updates - REUTERS
arsenal vs spurs live score premier league derby latest updates - REUTERS

There is always a danger, much recent Arsenal history will show, that this flourishing of the Mikel Arteta era may just lead nowhere when pitted against stronger forces, with greater resources, at a club that had forgotten what it was like to contend for a league title in a meaningful way.

Yet for the time being the results say it with emphasis: the Premier League leaders have seven wins and just one defeat, and once more demonstrated themselves capable of overcoming setbacks. Not just any setback but a Harry Kane equaliser to quell the roar of the lunchtime North London derby, and shake the fragile confidence of the Arteta manifesto. Arsenal came back in style and by the end there was no question to whom this day belonged.

For Arteta, results like these grow that elusive confidence that has flowed and mostly ebbed in the years since Arsenal last won titles. There is no doubt that he has built something, at a considerable cost when one contemplates his £265 million transfer spend, but it is moments like these that demonstrate what might be possible. “Our history tells us there is a way of playing and of behaving,” Arteta said later, and this was a vindication of his commitment to a style of play.

Their old rivals handed the game to Arsenal on two occasions, with a major error for Hugo Lloris for the second goal scored by Gabriel Jesus and then shortly after that, the sending off for Emerson Royal which sealed Tottenham Hotspur’s fate. Spurs had come to play a very different game to the home side, solid at the back and then with that formidable counterattacking front three who prey on the possession-heavy teams. Up to the sending off they were still in this game, a shadow cast over the relentless optimism of the Arsenal approach.

Antonio Conte could not bring himself to condemn explicitly referee Anthony Taylor for the red card he gave Emerson, although everything he later said suggested he disagreed with the decision. The Spurs manager wondered aloud why Premier League officials did not gather every Thursday to work on their decision-making as their Italian counterparts do. It did not sound like a man totally in step with the officiating.

Even so Emerson offered Taylor the chance to make a big decision when he connected with his studs on the left ankle of Gabriel Martinelli as the latter headed towards his own goal in his own half. In that sense, you could understand the look of despair that passed over the face of Conte as he watched the situation develop. His team were already chasing the game and now he was trying to play on the counterattack with ten men.

Emerson shown red card - Adrian Dennis/AFP
Emerson shown red card - Adrian Dennis/AFP

“The game changed totally,” Conte said after a first half in which he felt his possession-light, counterattacking team might have scored more. “A strange game” was how he described it although it felt like a day when the Conte method just failed to work. Thomas Partey’s first half goal, swept in beautifully with his right foot, came at the end of a 21-pass move from Arsenal. It was an afternoon when that way of playing triumphed – not that it has always been the case.

There was an equaliser from Kane after that, and his combinations with Richarlison and Heung-min Son on the counterattack are hard to stop – a muscular wave of precise passers that hit hard and swiftly. For Spurs’ first half goal, Arsenal had barely recovered from the previous phase before Richarlison was bearing down on them. He came from the right channel, past Granit Xhaka who held his hands up in surrender and was then clipped by the anxious challenge of the Brazilian defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

Gabriel – the centre-half – did manage to recover himself for the remainder of the game and it helped that alongside him there was another fine performance from the composed William Saliba.

Arteta would later say that Spurs’ counterattack was something he could not afford to linger too long on when preparing his players for this challenge. Instead he said they preferred to concentrate on what they did well. Although when Kane sent his England team-mate Aaron Ramsdale down to his right for the penalty before clipping the ball down the middle, it could be said that Spurs’ approach was working. At that moment it could have gone either way for Arsenal but the crowd stayed with them and the players stayed true to the game-plan.

Arsenal started the second half much the stronger. It was Bukayo Saka’s shot from the left that Lloris pushed out and when Cristian Romero tried to guide it back to him the ball slipped under the goalkeeper for Jesus to finish. A mistake from Lloris that undid so much of what Conte had planned and the usual questions again over his most experienced player. Spurs were on the back foot and Arsenal sensed it. Jesus might have had another with a header. Then Eric Dier seemed to catch him with a challenge in the box that went unpunished.

Royal’s red card challenge looked innocuous at first and then it became clear that the studs of the left foot had been planted somewhere around Martinelli’s left ankle. Jesus, the scorer of Arsenal’s second, had caused problems throughout. Martinelli and Saka were both outstanding performers, although it was all built on that solid midfield of Granit Xhaka, Partey and Martin Odegaard. A robust and creative team.

There was extreme pressure on Spurs  after the sending off as Arteta’s team went for the kill in a manner that the home crowd approved of fully. It was only going one way when Xhaka hit the third after Martinelli had once again opened up the space, and Spurs’s day was over. “Humble and hungry” was Arteta’s view of his players’ approach. Indeed for such a methodical manager he talked more this time about the emotion of the occasion and the intangibles of his players’ connection with one another as opposed to systems.

Either way Arsenal will be top of the Premier League until next weekend with a mere 30 games left to play – as well as a World Cup finals somewhere in between. There is a long way to go for this side although it is much better than the alternative, of which they have seen plenty in recent years.

Arsenal 3 Tottenham Hotspur 1, as it happened

02:59 PM

North London Derby: done.

Until next time these two sides meet, which is January 14. Let's do it all over again then.

02:50 PM

Mikel Arteta speaks with BT Sport

They [the players] were phenomenal. From the beginning we went for it. We had amazing support in the stadium and I think we deserved to win.

He [Jesus] brings his winning mentality, the way he trains everyday, his confidence, he takes the team to another level.

I am so happy, because I think it was a beautiful day, a beautiful game, and I think we made our supporters happy.

It gives us a lot of encouragement to keep doing what we are doing and confidence to play at this level.

Mikel Arteta - REUTERS
Mikel Arteta - REUTERS

02:45 PM

Antonio Conte speaks with BT Sport

The first half was in balance. In the first half we had many chances to score. We made a big mistake in the last pass.

In the second half we conceded early. We could do much better. Then the red card ended the game.

We have to move on. We have to try to stay close with the other teams at the top.

He declined to comment on the referee's decision to send Emerson Royal off.

Antonio Conte - REUTERS
Antonio Conte - REUTERS

02:38 PM

Man of the match Xhaka speaks to BT Sport:

We knew exactly what we wanted. We did, from the first second, we were the better team.

My first derby goal in England, more than happy to help the team. The most important thing is the team, so happy to help the team win.

02:37 PM

BT Sport speaks with Jesus and Xhaka after the match

Jesus:

I'm very happy, not just of course because I want to score but the way the team played form the first minute, we showed what we wanted in the game.

We deserved to win today because we wanted to play the game, to make the passes, to make the chances.

02:32 PM

Emerson Royal's sending off – a big turning point

Emerson Royal looks dejected as he leaves the pitch after being sent off - REUTERS
Emerson Royal looks dejected as he leaves the pitch after being sent off - REUTERS

02:24 PM

Full time: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

North London belongs to Arteta's Arsenal today. They go four points clear at the top of the table with City to play in the Manchester derby tomorrow.

Partey's superb strike put Arsenal ahead before Kane eqaulised from the penalty spot.

After half time, Jesus got his fifth for the season, Lloris with a mistake in the build up to the goal.

Xhaka, who was outstanding this afternoon finished things off after Emerson Royal was dismissed for a stamp on Martinelli's ankle.

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal applauds fans after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium - Getty Images Europe
Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal applauds fans after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium - Getty Images Europe

02:21 PM

90+3 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

Arsenal with a final free kick on the left. Martinelli goes for goal, but it hits the roof of the net.

02:18 PM

90 mins

Three minutes of added time. The away section has rapidly emptied out at the Emirates.

02:18 PM

89 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

Tierney dispatches a brilliant shot from distance, curling into the right corner. But Lloris dives well and pushes the ball out for a corner.

02:16 PM

88 mins: Arsenal sub

White is replaced by Tomiyasu.

02:15 PM

87 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

The game has significantly slowed down in the last 10 minutes or so – Arsenal will be happy with it this way, closing the game out.

It looks like the Gunners are about to make a fifth subsisute.

02:12 PM

84 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

A yellow card for Martinelli for a lunge down the left flank to stop Spurs from advancing.

02:08 PM

Sam Dean on Granit Xhaka turnaround

The evolution of Granit Xhaka's game has been one of the defining features of Arsenal's season so far. For so long a deep-lying midfielder, and not an entirely reliable one, he has now been moulded into a genuine box-to-box player who offers considerable goal threat.

He now has two goals and three assists already this season, compared to a total of one goal and two assists last season.

Granit Xhaka - AP
Granit Xhaka - AP

02:07 PM

79 mins: Two more Arsenal substitutes

Off: Odegaard, Jesus.

On: Vieira, Nketiah.

02:06 PM

77 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

A rare poorly-timed tackle by Saliba, who earns himself a yellow card. Spurs with a free kick on the left, Kane standing over it.

The ball is rolled to Kane, who hits it with power, but there are too many red shirts in there and it's deflected away.

02:02 PM

74 mins: Another Tottenham sub

Hojbjerg makes way for Skipp.

02:01 PM

72 mins: And a couple for Arsenal too

Off: Zinchenko, Partey,

On: Tierney, Lokonga.

01:59 PM

71 mins: All change for Spurs

Off: Lenglet, Perisic. Richarlison, Son.

On: Doherty, Sanchez, Sessegnon, Bissouma.

Four Spurs subs come on - Getty Images Europe
Four Spurs subs come on - Getty Images Europe

01:58 PM

70 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

Saka tucks one into the six-yard box... but no-one is there. Perisic sends it into row-Z.

01:56 PM

68 mins: Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

Spurs are looking light on that right side after Emerson Royal has gone off.

It looks like Conte is about to make four changes to fill the holes.

01:55 PM

66 mins: GOAL Arsenal 3 Tottenham 1

Xhaka makes it three!

Martinelli cuts in from the left and the ball falls to Xhaka in the D. He takes a brilliant touch, on the edge of the box and pounds his shot past Lloris.

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka scores his side's third goal - AP
Arsenal's Granit Xhaka scores his side's third goal - AP

01:53 PM

65 mins Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

Saka shoots, again with his left foot after cutting in from the right. He can't get quite enough curl on it to get it on target.

01:52 PM

64 mins Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

Ryan Sessegnon is preparing to come on.

01:52 PM

61 mins: RED CARD Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

Martinelli is caught by Emerson Royal, a stamping motion from the Brazilian.

Not sure what Emerson Royal was thinking there. Martinelli was going towards his own byline, in the Arsenal half, no danger at all for Tottenham.

Anthony Taylor deems it dangerous and shows the Spurs man a red card.

Emerson Royal is shown a red card - REUTERS
Emerson Royal is shown a red card - REUTERS

01:48 PM

59 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1 

Hojbjerg with a first-time effort, in a a very similar position to where Partey scored from, played in from his right.

But he hits that high and wide.

01:46 PM

58 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

The second half is mirroring the first so far. Arsenal have come out all guns blazing and are keeping Spurs pegged in. They've been rewarded with that quick goal, but Spurs are starting to grow into the half.

01:42 PM

53 mins: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

Saka plays it onto White on the overlap on his right, who lobs one over the Spurs defence straight into Jesus lurking in the six-yard box. The Brazilian watches the ball floating all the way in, but he messes up the header and can't get it on target.

01:38 PM

48 mins: GOAL Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

Jesus!!!! It's a tap in for his first north London derby goal to give Arsenal the lead again.

Saka works inside from the right, has a wonderful effort with his left foot. Lloris is down to it, pushes it away, but Jesus gets there ahead of Romero and squeezes the ball under Lloris who will be disappointed. The Spurs keeper should've done better there.

Gabriel Jesus scores Arsenal's second goal - PA
Gabriel Jesus scores Arsenal's second goal - PA

01:34 PM

46 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1

Spurs' defender Romero has picked up the ball far up the pitch, bursting from the defence on a Spurs counter.

Saliba comes across in the Arsenal box and deals with it. Rock solid.

01:33 PM

Second half!

Arsenal kick off.

01:30 PM

Kane's penalty – slotted down the middle

Harry Kane scores penalty - REUTERS
Harry Kane scores penalty - REUTERS

01:20 PM

Sam Wallace's half-time verdict

Tottenham have absorbed a lot of pressure and will be relatively pleased with how it has gone. They conceded to a pinpoint strike from Thomas Partey that, on a better day, Hugo Lloris might have saved. It is at the other end that Spurs have proved there is a way to break Arsenal on the counter.

Will be interesting to see how Gabriel Magalhaes responds to being caught out as he was for the penalty. William Saliba has looked much more assured.

01:20 PM

Half time: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1

A terrific 45 minutes to kick-off this intense period of Premier League football.

It was Arsenal's game at the start, but Spurs really came into the game after around 25 minutes.

Partey's screamer was delightful, but then Gabriel fouled Richarlison in the box to allow Harry Kane to add another to his account for the season.

Harry Kane scores penalty - Shutterstock
Harry Kane scores penalty - Shutterstock

01:16 PM

Sam Dean's thoughts at the end of this first half:

Spurs have got a foothold now. They're starting to slice through the Arsenal midfield as the spaces open up.

01:15 PM

45 mins

Two minutes of added time to come.

01:15 PM

43 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1 

A wonderful run by Jesus! He's played in by Odegaard on the left-edge of the box, shimmies right and then left to get past Emerson Royal and Romero before unleashing a shot... but it's straight at Lloris. It's spilt, Jesus tries to get in again, but Lloris smothers the ball. A flash of brilliance from the Brazilian.

01:09 PM

38 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1

Kane's header from Spurs' counter!

Son, gets it into Richarlison, who then spots Perisic to his left, but the ball is sent a little too far ahead of him and he is forced out wide, crossing to Kane in the box. His header is straight at Ramsdale though. Perisic may have been offside in the build up anyway.

Kane header - Offside
Kane header - Offside

01:07 PM

36 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1

Richarlison bounds into the right side of the Arsenal box, goes for a shot, but it's blocked and Arsenal build.

Saka earns a corner up the other end, doing well against two white shirts.

01:05 PM

34 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1

Emerson to Kane, who tries to cross one in, spotting the run in from Richarlison. Partey intercepts and sends it out for a corner.

Whipped in, nestled right in to the six-yard box, but Ramsdale does well under pressure to push the ball away from the danger area.

01:03 PM

Harry Kane

14 goals in 16 Premier League north London derbies for Harry Kane.

His seventh PL goal of the season.

01:01 PM

31 mins: GOAL Arsenal 1 Tottenham 1

A short run up for the England captain....

And he slots it down the middle! His 100th goal away from home in the Premier League.

Harry Kane celebrates scoring - AFP
Harry Kane celebrates scoring - AFP

01:00 PM

28 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0

Penalty for a foul on Richarlison by Gabriel, who lunges in. Brazilian on Brazilian. It all came about from Saka being caught out on his attack, edge of the Spurs box.

Kane to take this.

12:56 PM

Sam Dean's thoughts on Arsenal's opener at the Emirates

That goal was coming for Arsenal, who have made Spurs pay for sitting so deep. Xhaka and White had already taken shots from range before Partey curled in from 25 yards. Spurs are either being pinned back or they are deliberately choosing to sit on the edge of their own area. Still, they only need one moment to score at the other end...

Partey's goal - shot - REUTERS
Partey's goal - shot - REUTERS
Partey's goal - into the net - AFP
Partey's goal - into the net - AFP

12:54 PM

23 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0

The ball's slotted in behind the Arsenal back-four towards Son, but Ramsdale's position was excellent and he snuffs that out with ease.

12:53 PM

22 mins: Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0

Emerson Royal flashes the ball across the six-yard box, but it's too far ahead of Richarlison. Out for an Arsenal throw on the left side.

12:52 PM

19 mins: GOAL Arsenal 1 Tottenham 0

Thomas Partey with an outside of the box effort! He opens his body up and curls it into a postage-stamp finish.

He hits it first time after Saka drew some defenders over to him on the right flank. A really quality finish and the deadlock is broken at the Emirates.

12:49 PM

16 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Xhaka with a left-footed ground shot, edge of the box – and it's not far off at all!

He's playing high up the pitch, as he has done for much of this season, and getting involved in plenty of Arsenal's attacks. A changed player from last season.

12:45 PM

12 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Huge save from Ramsdale.

Son whips in the free kick, it takes a touch onto Richarlison, who gets a soft shot away, on target, but the England keeper gets a hand to it and keeps it out. Spurs timed that perfectly there, flag stayed down, but surely would've been a VAR check had that gone in.

Richarlison - REUTERS
Richarlison - REUTERS

12:43 PM

11 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0 

Spurs are pinned into their own half, but they look disciplined and Arsenal can't find a way through. This is the game plan that Conte was going into today with.

And now Spurs have a free kick on the right, about 35 yards yard. This will be whipped into the edge of the box.

12:41 PM

10 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0 

Son caught in the back by Saliba. It's a high press from Arsenal today – exactly what was expected. Spurs are happy to sit back for now, but the Gunners will want a goal for their dominance.

12:38 PM

6 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Perisic tries a dribble down the left flank, but he's dispossessed by White. It's the first north London derby for the Croatian veteran who has played in his fair share of Milan derbies. This will be a new type of derby test for the 33-year-old today.

12:35 PM

3 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Martinelli with a strike, left side of the box!

Another corner, the second in quick succession. But it's a poor one there.

Arsenal have come out the traps quickly. Tottenham trying to play out the back, but they keep getting caught in possession.

Saka sends in a cross from the right, spotting Xhaka at the far post, but he can't steer it goalward.

12:32 PM

2 mins: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 0

Arsenal come on a quick counter, Odegaard with a nutmeg, Jesus involved. They win a throw in a potentially lethal position on the left.

It's glanced on by Xhaka, but it's hooked away by Lenglet. Corner.

Lloris punches away the corner and Richarlison hoofs away.

A fast start by Arsenal, their foot on the gas.

12:30 PM

Kick off!

Spurs get us under way at the Emirates.

Anthony Taylor officiates today.

Emirates Stadium - AP
Emirates Stadium - AP

12:27 PM

The players emerge from the tunnel! A reminder of the line-ups this afternoon

Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus.

Subs: Tierney, Nketiah, Holding, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Sambi Lokonga, Nelson, Alencar, Turner.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic, Richarlison, Son, Kane.

Subs: Doherty, Skipp, Sanchez, Gil Salvatierra, Sessegnon, Forster, Spence, Sarr, Bissouma.

12:25 PM

Warm ups complete...

Richarlison  -  PA
Richarlison - PA
Gabriel Martinelli  - REUTERS
Gabriel Martinelli - REUTERS
Son Heung-min  - PA
Son Heung-min - PA

12:17 PM

Telegraph Sport's football reporter Sam Dean offers his thoughts on Arteta's strategy today

The big question over Arsenal's team selection for this derby was whether Mikel Arteta would choose Oleksander Zinchenko or Kieran Tierney for the left-back position.

Zinchenko is better-suited to a team that wants to keep possession, and will drift into midfield for long spells today. Tierney, on the other hand, is the better defender in one-versus-one situations.

For Arteta to pick Zinchenko is an indication of how he wants to approach this game, as he is effectively doubling down on the expansive style that Arsenal have pursued this season. Tierney would have been a more cautious option.

12:14 PM

Antonio Conte speaks with BT Sport:

I think I picked the formation that I think is the better formation to start this run of 13 games.

Kulusevski came back from international duty with an injury. Nothing serious, but it's a problem with his muscle. We have to wait to have another MRI to understand the problem.

Lucas Moura is out, and I'm really worried about this situation.

Antonio Conte - Tottenham Hotspur FC
Antonio Conte - Tottenham Hotspur FC

12:11 PM

Battle of the Brazilians

Jesus and Richarlison are competing for a place in the Brazil national team and both players will hope to demonstrate their quality in their first north London derby at their new clubs. They certainly have the combative styles required for a match of this emotional magnitude and they will not shy away from heavy challenges.

This north London derby feels different with both sides hoping to maintain proper title challenges. Read  Sam Dean's article analysing whether Arsenal or Tottenham have got the staying power for a Premier League title challenge?

12:07 PM

Some head-to-head stats: Arsenal have a sublime home record against Spurs

  • This is the first Premier League meeting between Arsenal and Tottenham with one leading the table since December 2007.

  • The Gunners have lost only one of their past 29 home north London derbies in the league (W17 D11), and are unbeaten in their past 11 against Spurs at the Emirates.

  • Tottenham have scored in their past 10 games against Arsenal. It's their second-longest such run against their neighbours, after one of 24 matches between 1955 and 1967.

11:57 AM

Scenes at the Emirates

Arsenal fans outside the ground ahead of the Premier League match  - PA
Arsenal fans outside the ground ahead of the Premier League match - PA
Build up outside the Emirates - Shutterstock
Build up outside the Emirates - Shutterstock
Tottenham's Ben Davies inspects the pitch - Tottenham Hotspur FC
Tottenham's Ben Davies inspects the pitch - Tottenham Hotspur FC

11:53 AM

Son Heung-min speaks with BT Sport

Son has hit form at the right time for this derby,  scoring five goals in his last three for club and country after a sluggish start to the season. Son said:

Today is an important game, and we need to be angry for this big game.

It's going to be a massive game. Early  Saturday, 12:30pm, getting three points would be awesome.

I hope today is going to change the history [12 years since Spurs won at Arsenal]. Everybody has to be ready and it will be a big battle.

Son Heung-min - Getty Images Europe
Son Heung-min - Getty Images Europe

11:45 AM

Spurs make three changes

Dejan Kulusevski picked up an injury while on international duty with Sweden, so Son Heung-min comes in.

Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal start ahead of Ryan Sessegnon and Davinson Sanchez.

Son Heung-Min - arsenal vs spurs live score premier league derby latest updates - Tottenham Hotspur FC
Son Heung-Min - arsenal vs spurs live score premier league derby latest updates - Tottenham Hotspur FC

11:42 AM

Two changes for Arsenal

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Martin Odegaard return from injury, with Kieran Tierney and Fabio Vieira making way.

11:33 AM

Tottenham's XI

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Romero, Dier, Lenglet, Emerson, Hojbjerg, Bentancur, Perisic, Richarlison, Son, Kane.

Subs: Doherty, Skipp, Sanchez, Gil Salvatierra, Sessegnon, Forster, Spence, Sarr, Bissouma.

11:32 AM

Team news has dropped! Arsenal's XI

Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus.

Subs: Tierney, Nketiah, Holding, Tomiyasu, Vieira, Sambi Lokonga, Nelson, Alencar, Turner.

11:26 AM

Good morning!

Hello and welcome to Telegraph Sport's live coverage of the north London derby at the Emirates, a top of the table clash with just one point separating Arsenal in first and Tottenham in third.

The Premier League reopens for business after a two-week international break, and we'll have eight rounds of matches between now and the start of the World Cup in Qatar which runs from November 20–December 18.

Antonio Conte's side are already struggling with injuries with key regulars such as goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, winger Dejan Kulusevski and defender Ben Davies doubts for today.

"To play so many games before the international break and then now to play 13 games in 43 days is crazy. We are faced with injuries," Conte said.

"This is the moment you understand who are title contenders and teams competing for Champions League positions."

Tottenham are unbeaten this season, with five wins and two draws, their equal best start in the Premier League, but they've only won once at Arsenal in their last 29 league visits.

If Arsenal win today, they will preserve top spot after eight games. Any other result means Pep Guardiola's Manchester City can climb to the summit with a win in the Manchester derby tomorrow.

Emile Smith Rowe will be sidelined for this entire period which condenses a quarter of a normal season into 10 per cent of the available calendar after undergoing surgery to repair a damaged tendon in his groin.

The Croydon-born midfielder has lost his starting place to Gabriel Martinelli this season, but would surely be getting more of a look-in over the next few weeks if he remained fit.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said the club had tried other alternatives, but opted for surgery after failing to fully resolve the issue.

"We had to make a decision because we could not continue the uncertainty as to whether we have him, or have him with certain conditions," Arteta said.

"We needed to draw a line so we made that decision and he was the first one demanding that he wanted to make the decision and we supported that, and we have to prepare him to get back stronger than he was."

The visitors today handed Arsenal a devastating 3-0 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in May, a crucial moment in the battle for Champions League football.

Son Heung-min, the South Korean star, was on the scoresheet that afternoon as he advanced in his quest for the Premier League Golden Boot – which he ended up sharing with Mohamed Salah of Liverpool.

He has struggled for form this campaign, but being benched against Leicester two weeks ago appeared to kick-start his season as he underlined his lethality by coming off the bench to score a hat-trick in 14 second-half minutes.