Talking Tactics

Aubameyang and Kane primed to pounce in derby

By Adrian Clarke 29 Aug 2019
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Harry Kane, wide

Adrian Clarke says the Arsenal and Spurs strikers are most dangerous when their sides win the ball ahead of their Sunday meeting

Related Articles
Harry's fired up for the derby External Link
Emery on the derby, transfers, Pepe: transcript External Link
Classic match: Arsenal 4-4 Spurs

Adrian Clarke is looking at key tactical talking points ahead of Matchweek 4.

TV Info

The battle between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Harry Kane will be important to settling Sunday's derby at Emirates Stadium.

These two strikers are undoubtedly the most likely matchwinners.

Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal in this fixture last season, while Kane is the Gunners' nemesis, having netted nine times in nine starts against his north London rivals.

Forward planning

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino like to mix up their formations and tactics on a match-by-match basis.

But, whatever they are planning for this fixture, getting the best out of Aubameyang and Kane will be at the forefront of their thinking.

Both of Aubameyang's goals this term have stemmed from turnovers.

He produced a clinical finish against Newcastle United after Ainsley Maitland-Niles freed him in the box.

And, against Burnley, the 30-year-old raced onto a Dani Ceballos pass to fire home an unstoppable strike.

He should have made it three in three matches in the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool, but unusually hesitated and the opportunity was lost.

Rapid attacks

Aubameyang is at his most dangerous when Arsenal regain possession and spring quick counter-attacks.

With space ahead to run into, he is one of the most destructive forwards in the world.

Aubameyang v Kane this season
  Aubameyang Kane
Mins played 270 270
Goals 2 2
Shots 6 7
Shots on target 4 2
Conversion rate 33.3% 28.6%
Touches in opp. box 15 16

Kane is not noted for his acceleration but, like Aubameyang, he is deadly in transitions.

The first goal of his brace against Aston Villa was slotted home clinically after Erik Lamela had won the ball just outside the visitors' box. His second rounded off a swift break led by Moussa Sissoko.

Both strikers revel in the extra space that appears when their side secure possession. They are always alive and ready to punish their opponents.

Flexible Aubameyang

Aubameyang has had a different role in each of Arsenal's three matches so far.

In the opener at St James' Park, he led the line in a 4-2-3-1 system before moving to a wider role at home to Burnley, switching from the right to the left flank.

At Anfield, Aubameyang was part of a front two alongside Nicolas Pepe, charged with the task of offering a fast outlet on the break.

Wherever he has been stationed, he has looked sharp, but second-guessing how Emery will deploy Aubameyang is not easy.

More speed helps Kane

Kane's influence in Spurs' last two matches has been minimal.

He touched the ball only once inside the 18-yard box in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

Then, in the 1-0 loss to Newcastle, he managed only three touches in the area, even though his side had 80.2 per cent possession. 

Spurs need to move the ball far quicker to bring the best out of Kane, who thrives on hurting opponents who afford him space.

When the distribution is sluggish, defenders find it easier to crowd out the 26-year-old. 

However, recent history tells us Kane is likely to be a major player against Arsenal.

Also in this series 

Part 2: Matip growing in stature in Liverpool defence
Part 3: Tricky Boufal can provide spark for Saints
Part 4: Doherty can help Wolves find magic touch

Latest Videos

More Videos
21 Jul 2024

On this day in 2017: Robertson signs for Liverpool

A title winner with more assists than any defender in Premier League history. Watch some best bits from seven seasons at Anfield

You have been entered into the competition. You will receive email confirmation of your entry with further details.

You have already entered this competition. Please check your email for further information.

You have been entered into the competition. You will receive email confirmation of your entry with further details.

Create a Premier League account


You are logged in as

Enter your details to submit your entry.