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Robbie Savage rubbishes Arsenal and Tottenham's title hopes ahead of North London derby

Sorry, but I don't think either Arsenal or Tottenham can win the title – whatever the Premier League table may suggest ahead of this weekend's North London derby.

The fixture computer gave both clubs a reasonably comfortable opening block of games before the international break. And when they were tested against one of the big guns, Arsenal came unstuck at Old Trafford and Spurs needed a last-ditch equaliser to snatch a point at Chelsea.

But it's going to be a fascinating battle between two talented sides and two managers in Mikel Arteta and Antonio Conte, who have been getting the best out of their squads so far.

For Conte, it boils down to this: If Tottenham are going to finish above Arsenal this season, they need to put a dent in their astonishingly poor away record in this fixture – just one win in 29 League games at the Emirates and Highbury since 1993. That's a remarkable stat.

And for Arteta, the equation is equally simple: If the Gunners want to stay at the top, they need to keep winning every week – because Manchester City are going to be breathing down their necks. Before a ball was kicked in August, I tipped Spurs to finish in the top four and Arsenal to miss out. But if home advantage holds away again, maybe we'll have to start taking the Gunners more seriously.

Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta will lock horns again on Saturday as Arsenal hosts Tottenham (


Getty Images)

Tomori's absence puzzling

Gareth Southgate has missed a trick by leaving Fikayo Tomori out of England's final rehearsal for the World Cup. Tomori must be a high-class defender if he can win Serie A with AC Milan last season, and I'm amazed Southgate has not given him more of a look-in. I like Gareth, but he backed himself into a corner by backing Harry Maguire to the hilt when he could have taken a look at Tomori against Italy or Germany over the international break.

Showing loyalty to a player who's been going through tough time is an admirable trait, but what happens if Maguire can't get a game for Manchester United between now and the World Cup? Whoever plays at centre-back for England in their opening game against Iran, they will be scrutinised and their performances will be picked to pieces by pundits and fans. I feel sorry for Maguire – he didn't have a great game against Germany, but on the whole he hasn't leg England down. I also thought it was strange that Southgate called up Brentford striker Ivan Toney – deservedly – and then didn't give him a single minute on the pitch.

Fikayo Tomori has been an impressive performer for AC Milan but not been able to establish himself in the England side (


NurPhoto/PA Images)

And where does Trent Alexander-Arnold fit into England's puzzle? Or does he fit in at all? There may be legitimate question marks about him defensively in a flat back four, but in a 3-4-3 or a 3-4-2-1 surely he has a lot to offer going forward and with his set piece delivery? We are talking about a player who came desperately close to winning the Quadruple with Liverpool last season. TAA has Reece James, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier for competition on that right side, but I hope England are not going to leave a player of such obvious talent kicking his heels at home.

Like England, relegation in the Nations League was Wales' send-off for the World Cup finals. Maybe it wasn't ideal preparation, but what really matters – on both sides of the Severn Bridge – is what happens in Qatar. All logic says that in their Group B battle of Britain on November 29, Robert Page's side will be heavy underdogs and England's vastly bigger pool of talent should hold sway. But it took a last-gasp Daniel Sturridge winner to separate England and Wales at Euro 2016. And since when has logic had anything to do with results in tournament football?

Rent, don't buy Slaven...

On average, Watford managers under current owner Gino Pozzo have lasted 28 games. Since his first appointment, Gianfranco Zola, resigned in 2013 after 75 matches in charge (the longest reign of Pozzo's rule), in batting order the other head coaches at Vicarage Road have lasted 36, 4, 2, 36, 44, 41, 26, 66, 12, 22, 22, 36, 14, 18 and 11 matches. The latest casualty, Rob Edwards, was sacked this week with the Hornets just one point outside the Championship play-off places. A word of advice for his replacement Slaven Bilic, the former West Ham and West Brom manager: Rent a house in the area, don't buy one. The turnover of bosses at Watford was once a standing joke – but it's not funny any more.