Kane after North London Derby win: “That’s what we needed”

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Perhaps Eric Dier said it best after Harry Kane netted his seventh goal in as many North London Derbies.

“Harry Kane loves scoring against Arsenal,” he said. “He should have had a few more as well.”

[ MORE: Match recap | 3 things from JPW ]

Spurs topped Arsenal 1-0 on Saturday at Wembley Stadium to kick off the Premier League weekend, and should’ve had more in a dominant performance which was pretty wasteful in terms of end product.

“A North London Derby, I look forward to these games,” Kane said on CNBC after the match. “It was a great performance by the team and thankfully I was there to put one away.”

“We should’ve finished it off. We had three or four clear-cut chances. When it’s 1-0 in the Premier League no matter who you play in the Premier League, they’ll put numbers in the box and have a few chances.

“That’s what we needed. We had tough fixtures all in a row, and seven points from those games in fantastic.”

Spurs beat Manchester United and Arsenal at home — the Wembley jinx is tucked soundly into bed  — and drew Liverpool at Anfield. Next up is Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and Kane said he’s relishing the chance to go up against The Old Lady’s legendary back line.

Kane on Arsenal release, Spurs journey: “The white kit fit better”

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Drive is a funny thing. We all have it in some form, but whether we find that moment that brings it out of us is another story altogether.

[ MORE: De Bruyne exhausted ]

Harry Kane details where he found his during a sprawling piece in The Players Tribune that commemorates his 100th Premier League goal.

He had been released from Arsenal’s academy at the age of 8, and had found new life at Spurs following a chance from Watford (The next North London Derby is on NBCSN at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday and online via NBCSports.com).

The feelings birthed from that Arsenal release never left him, and surely it helps that Spurs and Arsenal are lifelong rivals. From The Players’ Tribune:’

The white kit fit better on me, I think. I remember the first time we played against Arsenal … and even back then, I had a chip on my shoulder. It might sound ridiculous — I was only eight when they let me go — but every time we played them, I thought, “Alright, we’ll see who’s right and who’s wrong.”

Looking back on it now, it was probably the best thing that ever happened to me, because it gave me a drive that wasn’t there before.

Kane also talks about why Tom Brady — sore subject, Pats fans, we know — continues to motivate him and details his loan stints and what they taught him about life in English football.

Defiant Pochettino: “Football was fantastic” in loss

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Mauricio Pochettino is defiant following Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal in the North London Derby on Saturday.

The Spurs manager thinks his team was pretty good in the loss, and it’s true that both Petr Cech and Shkrodan Mustafi intervened critically for the victors.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things ]

But overall Arsenal was better on the day, which makes Pochettino’s almost buoyant post-match interview a bit awkward.

“It was an even game in terms of shooting, on target, possession,” Pochettino said.

“I’m disappointed for the rest of my team. You saw what happened. I’m disappointed because the small details went against us. … It’s true that they scored and we didn’t but I’m very proud cause the football was fantastic.”

We won’t go as far as to say we watched different games — Pochettino knows a bit more about the game than us — but that’s quite a spin we doubt his players will buy. Back to work for Spurs with a visit to Dortmund before West Brom visits next weekend.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Tottenham in North London derby

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This is it.

The Premier League returns with a bang following the two week international break as Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Arsenal haven’t won any of their last six games in the Premier League against Tottenham, while Spurs are three places and four points above the Gunners in the PL table.

In team news Arsenal start with Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Alexandre Lacazette up top, with Shkodran Mustafi returning from injury.

Tottenham have Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Harry Kane fit to play after recovering from injury.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette. Subs: Ospina; Mertesacker, Wilshere, Iwobi, Welbeck, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Sanchez, Dier, Vertonghen; Trippier, Dembele, Sissoko, Davies; Eriksen, Alli; Kane. Subs: Vorm; Foyth, Aurier, Winks, Walker-Peters, Son, Llorente

How will Arsenal, Tottenham lineup?

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Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur. The North London derby. Arsene Wenger vs. Mauricio Pochettino.

[ MORE: Spurs injury update ]

This is it. Arsenal host Spurs this Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) with both teams having plenty of selection headaches.

How will Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino line up their respective teams?

[ MORE: Wenger – We are not underdogs ]

Here’s a look at our projected starting lineups for both Arsenal and Spurs, with a brief explanation for both.


JPW’s projected Arsenal starting XI

—– Cech —–

—- Holding —- Koscielny —- Monreal —-

— Bellerin — Xhaka — Ramsey — Kolasinac —

—- Ozil —- Sanchez —-

—– Lacazette —–

The Gunners are without the injured Olivier Giroud, but this is a pretty settled team. The main decision for Wenger is will he go all-out attack from the start? Lacazette came off the bench at Man City last time out and scored as well as providing a threat. Surely he has to start in front of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. In midfield it will be intriguing to see if Aaron Ramsey starts ahead of one of the more defense-minded trio of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin. It’s highly-likely he will. Shkodran Mustafi may be fit to make his long-awaited return in central defense.


JPW’s projected Tottenham starting XI

—– Lloris —–

—- Sanchez —- Dier —- Vertonghen —-

— Aurier — Dembele — Winks — Rose —-

—- Eriksen —- Dele —-

—– Kane —–

So many injury concerns for Pochettino but Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Harry Winks and Hugo Lloris all returned to full training on Thursday ahead of this game. That’s a big boost. Losing Toby Alderweireld for longer than expected is not and that will likely see Eric Dier slot into central defense and the duo of Mousa Dembele and Winks deployed in central midfield. The other big call Pochettino has to make is out wide in the wing back positions. He could choose either of Kieran Trippier or Serge Aurier on the right and Ben Davies or Danny Rose on the left. I think he will go for more athleticism in this game given the high intensity of a derby day. That said, can a fiery character like Aurier be trusted in the hostile atmosphere?