LONDON • Tottenham Hotspur head into Sunday's north London derby badly in need of the injection of confidence a Premier League victory over old rivals Arsenal would surely bring.
Spurs suffered a surprise 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle last weekend in a lacklustre performance that showed they have yet to find their feet in this campaign.
With manager Mauricio Pochettino downbeat about the potential loss of players before the European transfer window closes next week, there has been a cloud over a club who were Champions League runners-up in June.
As Brazilian forward Lucas Moura noted, however, there is nothing like a derby victory to set the pulses racing.
"Is this the perfect game for us to have after the Newcastle defeat? Yes. We need to look forward now," he said. "There are a lot of hard games to come. We need to get back to work and win the next game against Arsenal."
With an international break after this weekend's fixtures, Spurs striker Harry Kane said it is imperative for his side to avoid falling further behind Liverpool and champions Manchester City in the table.
Tottenham are seventh with only four points from three matches, while second-placed City (seven points) trail Liverpool, who are the only team left with a perfect record.
I think Arsenal will win the game quite comfortably 4-1. They will rip Tottenham to shreds. I think Spurs are struggling at the moment and if Arsenal get going then they could score a few.
PAUL MERSON, ex-Arsenal midfielder, stoking the fires ahead of this week's north London derby.
"You never want to go into an international break having lost or drawn, and of course a north London derby is as big as it gets," Kane said. "If we win, it makes the first four games a bit brighter.
"But it's not going to be an easy game so we have to make sure we're prepared and ready."
Tottenham have had recent troubles at the Emirates, last winning there in November 2010.
They have lost five and drawn three since, including a 4-2 defeat last season.
Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson believes that their poor form at the Gunners' home will continue on Sunday.
"I think Arsenal will win the game quite comfortably 4-1," he said on Sky Sports. "They will rip Tottenham to shreds.
"I think Spurs are struggling at the moment and if Arsenal get going then they could score a few."
The Gunners, who are in third place with six points, suffered a reversal of a different kind, falling to a 3-1 loss at Liverpool last week.
Spanish manager Unai Emery may be tempted to go with a three-pronged attack for the first time with new arrival Nicolas Pepe impressing on the right wing and forming a potentially potent trident with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Brazilian defender David Luiz, a close-season signing from Chelsea, suffered a torrid time at the hands of Liverpool's Mohamed Salah at Anfield and will need to up his game against attackers Kane and Son Heung-min.