Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: Premier League Match Preview
Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal at Wembley in the Premier League clash this lunchtime (12.30pm kick-off UK time).
The clubs have met 194 times in all competitions, with Arsenal leading by 81 wins to Tottenham’s 62.
The hosts are in 5th place in the Premier League table, with 50 points from 26 matches.
They came from behind ro snatch a point last time out in a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at Anfield.
Harry Kane’s late penalty securing a point. It was also his 100th Premier League goal.
Despite claiming a late point Spurs are winless in their past 11 away games against ‘top six’ opponents in the league (D5 L6), and have won only one of their 19 such games under Mauricio Pochettino (D7, L11).
Spurs are though unbeaten in eight league games but have drawn three of the last five.
They have gone 12 home matches without defeat in the Premier League, winning eight of the past 10.
Arsenal in 6th place in the Premier League table, with 45 points from 26 Matches.
They are 5 points behind their north London rivals in the table.
Arsenal enjoyed a 5-1 win over Everton last Saturday at the Emirates Stadium.
Aaron Ramsey netted a hat-trick, with the other goals coming from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on his debut and Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal though have only averaged a point per away game in the Premier League this season, with three wins, four draws and six defeats.
They have the division’s ninth best away record and could today suffer three straight away defeats in the Premier League for the first time since a run of four losses ended last April.
However, Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine matches at Wembley Stadium, winning them all including two penalty shootouts.
The Gunners have gone eight league games without a clean sheet since mid-December, which has left Petr Cech waiting for his 200th Premier League clean sheet.
Tottenham Hotspur have lost only one of their last seven Premier League matches against Arsenal (W2 D4), although that defeat came earlier this season, 2-0 at Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal are aiming to win home and away in the Premier League against Spurs in the same season for the fourth time, doing so previously in 2004/05, 2007/08 and 2013/14.
This is the first game between the sides at Wembley since April 1993, when a goal by Tony Adams gave Arsenal a 1-0 FA Cup semi-final victory.
Tottenham have dropped 37 points from winning positions in Premier League games against Arsenal – the worst record of any club against a single opponent.
Harry Kane scored his 100th Premier League goal with his late penalty against Liverpool on Sunday. He reached the milestone in 141 appearances – only Alan Shearer (124) reached that mark in the competition in fewer games.
Kane has scored six goals in six Premier League matches against Arsenal, only failing to score in one those matches – the reverse fixture this season.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the eighth player to score on his Premier League debut for Arsenal. The others on the list are Steve Bould, Kevin Campbell, Freddie Ljungberg, Emmanuel Adebayor, Samir Nasri, Thomas Vermaelen and Alexandre Lacazette.
Aubameyang has scored four goals in four appearances against Tottenham: one in the Champions League and three goals in the Europa League.
Lucas Moura is in contention to make his debut after signing from PSG in the January transfer window.
Toby Alderweireld, Harry Winks and Danny Rose all returned from long-term injuries to play in the midweek FA Cup win over Newport County.
David Ospina is on stand-by to replace Petr Cech, who is a doubt with the calf injury sustained against Everton last Saturday.
Nacho Monreal is set to be involved after recovering from the bout of illness that forced him off at half-time against Everton.
Danny Welbeck is closing on a return to first team action.
Since Pochettino took charge ahead of the 2014-15 season, Spurs have the best home record in Premier League matches between the current top six teams: 10 wins and 35 points from 18 fixtures.
“Arsenal will be tough to play, they have good quality, talented players and are one of the best teams in the league.
“I cannot say if they look stronger or not than they were since their new signings.
“We are focused on us. I don’t care. They play with 11 we play with 11. The derby is special for everyone and Wembley is starting to feel good.”
Wenger’s side are winless in 15 Premier League away games against the current top five clubs since a 2-0 victory at Manchester City in January 2015 (D6, L9).
“The memory is always the huge passion before the game and the emotional state.
“That becomes a bit more agitated. I worked with Pat Rice when I arrived for many years, so he got me very quickly on that territory!
“It’s always a game that is a bit more emotionally charged because of the importance it has for us, the fans and everyone around the club.
“This season, if you look at the table, for us it’s a very important game.
“The players know because we’ve had many players who have been here for years. The good thing in sport is that you have to find a good balance between being rational and emotional.
“As much as you have to certainly be emotionally-charged because of the importance of the game and needing to get the high energy level, once you’re on the pitch you have to be calm, focused and make good decisions.
“That’s why you can’t let the emotions take over. At the end of the day, it’s down to making good decisions on the football pitch.”
On playing the fixture at Wembley, Wenger added.
“We have a positive history there and of course Wembley is a pitch that is quality, a stadium with a big crowd and it is always a special day in your mind so overall yes.
It has a little weight in it because we have a good level of performance there, so we will not feel too much ‘away’ in that situation. Anyway, it will be down to the performance on the day.”
Referee: Anthony Taylor
Assistants: Gary Beswick, Adam Nunn
Fourth official: Neil Swarbrick
Arsenal to win 2-1.