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Rivals on even keel

London: Reeling from their worst start under Arsene Wenger, a north London derby could be exactly what Arsenal need — just like last season.

The Gunners were trailing Tottenham by 10 points going into their last encounter in February but won 5-2, sparking a revival that led to a Champions League spot.

Now Arsenal again find themselves below Tottenham in the Premier League, sitting eighth with only 16 points from 11 matches — the lowest haul since Wenger arrived in 1996.

It has been 18 years since Tottenham finished above Arsenal — despite being so far ahead for much of last year — and is only one point in front now.

But even West Ham and West Bromwich Albion as well as Everton are ahead of the struggling north London teams after their erratic starts.

Tottenham will still be without midfielder Mousa Dembele due to a hip injury that has sidelined him for the last seven games, but winger Aaron Lennon could return from a hamstring problem.

Manchester United lead the league, two points ahead of Manchester City and a further point in front of Chelsea.

United head to Norwich emboldened by a comeback victory at Aston Villa last weekend which made it five wins on the run since losing to Tottenham.

Villa now face second-place City after coming from behind to beat Tottenham last weekend.

Third-place Chelsea are searching for their first league win since also beating Tottenham, travelling to West Bromwich Albion after two draws and a loss.

Captain John Terry will be sidelined for around three weeks after injuring his knee in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool last weekend, manager Roberto Di Matteo said on Friday.

Initial fears that the injury, sustained in a collision with Luis Suarez, could be long-term have proved unfounded and Terry should be back well before the busy Christmas schedule.