Spurs host Arsenal in third North London derby of the season


Having already met twice this season with both sides winning one each, not only pride is on the line but a chance at winning the final North London derby of the season and increasing either of their chances for Champions League football.

Spurs are third in the Premier League and were considered to be in the title race until they lost to both Burnley and Chelsea, they have 60 points, nine points behind table toppers Liverpool and are four ahead of Arsenal who sit in the final Champions League spot.

The first time that Unai Emery’s men met Tottenham was when the two played at the Emirates at the start of December 2018. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had scored from the spot to give the Gunners the lead in the tenth minute but Eric Dier and Harry Kane scored twice in four minutes as they took the lead into the break.

Though following the second half Arsenal made an incredible come back winning the game 4-2 with goals from Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira. Since then though the two met again at the Emirates with Mauricio Pochettino’s men leaving victorious 17 days later after Heung-min Son and Dele Alli scored in the 2-0 Carabao Cup win.

Saturday’s hosts Spurs go into this game after a dip in form as they lost 2-0 to Chelsea and 2-1 to Burnley, before this they were the underdogs that many favoured challenging both Liverpool and Manchester City for the title.

They had beaten German title contenders Borussia Dortmund 3-0, and  before that the London club won three home games on the bounce beating Leicester City, Newcastle United and Watford.

Arsenal have won three in a row, most recently tearing Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth apart as they beat them 5-1. They also beat Southampton and BATE Borisov which ensured the gunners a place in the Europa League Round of 16.

Away from home, the gunners should be concerned as they have only won once in their last six league matches on the road.

Pochettino spoke about his teams motivation ahead of the game:

“Of course to motivate for this type of game is an easy job. We don’t need to motivate them. We know very well what it means to play against Arsenal. We know that we’re going to be very motivated and we’ll have a team in front that is very motivated too.”

“They have very good players, they are doing a very good job. Unai Emery is a great manager, I know him very well. Of course it’s going to be tough. Always a derby is tough, after my experience here in nearly five years every time that we played against Arsenal it was a very tough game.”

Emery gave his thoughts on whether Arsenal need to finish in the top four:

“I want to enjoy each moment, I want to enjoy tomorrow, and I want to be very efficient in each moment. Tomorrow we will play and we will enjoy it.”

“I know that if we win, if we can produce the best performance tomorrow, we will be happy and we are going to be better off in the table.”

Harry Winks and Jan Vertonghen could both be available to feature for Spurs in this North London derby, both require late fitness tests to prove they have recovered from their hip injuries.

However, both Eric Dier (tonisillitis) and Dele Alli (hamstring) are set to be missing as this tie will prove one match too early for the English pair.

As for the visitors, they hope to have both full-backs Stephan Lichtsteiner (hip) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles (illness) back as they have recovered from their respective injuries.

Laurent Koscielny is a doubt though as he picked up a knock to his knee late in Wednesday’s win over Bournemouth, he will have to face a fitness test ahead of playing any part in the game.

Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck are all still out with no timeline set for their return.

Tottenham top goal scorer Harry Kane has just returned from an injury which is great news for the London side as he has scored 21 in 33. The lethal finisher scored on his return in the 2-1 loss at Burnley last weekend.

Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen is the club’s leading provider as he has 12 assists in 35 matches, he’s also joint fourth highest scorer for Spurs with seven goals which matches Fernando Llorente and Dele Alli’s goal-scoring contributions.

Aubameyang is Arsenal’s leading scorer with 19 goals in 35 games so far this season, the 29-year-old last scored in against AFC Bournemouth when the two met last match.

Striker Alexandre Lacazette is the London club’s top assister with eight in 35, the Frenchman has also proved to be useful when in front of goal netting 14 times, he’s the only other player than the earlier mentioned Aubameyang to have scored over ten goals.


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News writer for Prost International, I get out to games but mainly cover EFL and women's football. Found here: https://twitter.com/BrandonPrangell

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