HEAD-TO-HEAD: Ozil v Eriksen - Who will be key in North London derby?

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We compare the starts that Arsenal's Mesut Ozil and Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen have made to the season so far ahead of the North London derby.

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The North London derby is one of the highlights of the Premier League season and it promises to be a captivating encounter once again this campaign.

The match pits two sides who have had rather deflating openings to their campaigns and seem to be struggling with the exact same problems that they were having last season.

Tottenham Hotspur's lack of a potent centre-forward remains an issue, whilst Arsenal's failure to sign a midfield enforcer is causing them to struggle. 

Both sides went into the season on a very positive mood, but that atmosphere has already been punctured by indifferent openings to the season and they will be looking to reignite their supporters' hopes on Saturday. 

Crucial to both sides will be the form of their creative fulcrums, and in Christian Eriksen and Mesut Ozil the two clubs have two of the finest creators in the Premier League. 

Eriksen has been largely praised for the impact that he has made since moving to England, whilst Ozil has been criticised for a series of poor performances, but the stats suggest that it is the German who is actually performing the better. 

  GoalsAssistsShooting AccuracyChances createdTouchesPassing AccuracyDispossessedBig Chance CreatedAppearancesMins Played
Christian Eriksen 1 0 16.666666666667% 11 398 82.724252491694% 7 1 5 415
Mesut Özil 1 1 33.333333333333% 9 340 88.278388278388% 6 1 4 360

Although Eriksen can boast a greater total number of chances created, he hasn't been able to live up to the Arsenal man's performance so far this season due to Ozil's accuracy.

The World Cup star has protected the ball better, hit the target more regularly and already has an assist to his name, but it is his ability to retain possession that is particularly staggering. 

The former Real Madrid star has a completed 88% of his passes to teammates, showing the quality that he possesses on the ball - that is something that isn't being noted by many observers. 

Ozil can often look lightweight and on the periphery of games, but his technical ability can never be questioned and, given Arsene Wenger's craving for possession-based football, this is a telling reason as to why he has had defended his £42.5 million signing in the face of some severe criticism. 

Eriksen is unquestionably a great talent and, at the age of 22, will still improve further but, even though he has been more involved that Ozil so far, he is not as refined a player and still needs to improve to match his Arsenal counterpart.

The derby match is sure to be a blood-and-thunder encounter, but the teams will be looking to Eriksen's and Ozil's guile to unlock the opposition defence for them and it may be that this is the defining contest of the match. 

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