Friday, September 29, 2023

No Harry Kane and first north London derby experience for James Maddison and Declan Rice – why Arsenal and Tottenham is a game of firsts

The north London derby is here but this year the contest is going to have a rather fresh feel.

Arsenal host Tottenham on Sunday afternoon but this time the visitors will be doing so without Harry Kane, the record goalscorer in the game.

Tottenham will be without their usual north London derby day hero Harry Kane after his move to Bayern MunichGetty

It does offer a platform for Spurs to find a new derby day hero in Richarlison or James MaddisonGetty

The striker was synonymous with so many huge derby day moments but his summer move to Bayern Munich paves the way for a new Spurs’ star to emerge as a modern day club legend.

While Kane won’t be at the Emirates Stadium, Ange Postecoglou will give a north London derby debut to James Maddison.

The midfielder is an early contender to be signing of the summer after a wonderful start to his life with the Lilywhites.

Clearly a man for the big moment, you wouldn’t put it past Maddison to play a big role in the outcome of this contest.

For Arsenal, they’ll be hoping that their £105million signing can make a big splash of his own.

Declan Rice is used to face Tottenham on a derby day, but instead of doing so for West Ham he’ll be playing a central role for Arsenal as they look to extend their wonderful start to the season.

But as well as being a first north London derby day experience for Rice, there’s also a degree of jeopardy attached for both teams.

Such has been the impressive nature of both sides’ campaigns so far, defeat at the Emirates Stadium would mean a first loss of the 2023/24 season so far, meaning that there’s plenty at stake.

Rice is already a key player for Arsenal having arrived from West Ham this summerGetty

It might be a contest that has a fresh new feel to it, but you can be certain that fans will be approaching it with the same anticipation as every other year as they go in search of the bragging rights.

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