Isyamuddin praying Arsenal pulls off a surprise in North London derby

It’s the North London derby on Monday (12.30am) but for once, Engku Isyamuddin Tuan Losin is feeling nervous.

The Arsenal supporter is dreading the thought of the match as Tottenham is flying high while his beloved Gunners are struggling in 14th.

“On current form, Spurs are the clear favourites,” said the F&N sponsorship and activation manager.

“It will definitely be an interesting match as traditionally the games are fierce.

“I’m just hoping form goes out the window as it sometimes does in derbies.”

Isyamuddin said he is not surprised by Tottenham’s rise to the top of the table but predicted it may not last long among the leaders.

“They have some very experienced players and a great manager in Jose Mourinho,” he acknowledged begrudgingly.

“Jose is used to being on top so it is no surprise Spurs are leading the way … for now.

“But this is early in the season and based on history, Spurs will soon fall down the table!”

As for his team, he said he expects Arsenal to bounce back after a run of three matches without a win.

It was beaten 1-2 by Wolves last week, drew 0-0 with Leeds and fell 0-3 to Aston Villa since its last victory, a 1-0 win over another bitter rival, Manchester United, early last month.

“It’s been a month since their last win so they are due a win soon. We have a youthful side which explains Arsenal’s yo-yo performance.

“Having said that, I expected the players to give 100 per cent win or lose but the steel seems to be missing,” he said ruefully.

“I don’t see anyone who can carry the team. We need players like (Patrick) Viera or (Tony) Adams. They were real leaders.

“If I have to pick from the current bunch, probably Dani Ceballos has the potential to be a leader. Granit Xhaka, too, but he is temperamental.”

Asked about strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette who have not reached the heights this season, he said they are no Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp or Robert Pires.

“They are good forwards but not playing their best at the moment,” he said.

“As such, I don’t see us finishing among the top four this season. Arsenal’s best chance of silverware is probably the FA Cup.

“It has a great romance with the trophy, having won it for a record 14 times.”

Other key matches this week include Chelsea vs Leeds (Sunday, 4am) and Liverpool vs Wolves (Monday, 3.15am).

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)
SATURDAY
Burnley vs Everton (8.30pm)
Manchester City vs Fulham (11pm)

SUNDAY
West Ham vs Manchester United (1.30am)
Chelsea vs Leeds (4am)
West Brom vs Crystal Palace (8pm)
Sheffield United vs Leicester (10.15pm)

MONDAY
Tottenham vs Arsenal (12.30am)
Liverpool vs Wolves (3.15am)

TUESDAY
Brighton vs Southampton (4am)

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