Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal: Premier League north London Derby Match Preview
Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal in the Premier League at White Hart Lane this afternoon (4.30pm kick-off UK time).
It’s the 50th Premier League meeting between the teams.
Spurs are in 2nd place in the Premier League table.
Arsenal go into today’s fixtures in place in 6th place in the Premier League table.
Tottenham kept up the pressure on Premier League leaders Chelsea, with Christian Eriksen scoring the only goal in victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday.
The win meant Spurs had won eight consecutive league games for the first time since October 1960 (13 in a row)..
It kept the gap at the top of the table at 4 points.
Chelsea face Everton today at Goodison Park (2.05pm kick-off UK time).
The Toffees are in 7th place in the Premier League table. They are 2 points behind Arsenal having played two games more.
The win against Crystal Palace moved Tottenham on to 74 points, surpassing their previous best ever Premier League total of 72 – set in 2012-13 – when they finished fifth.
If they beat Arsenal today it will ensure they finish above the Gunners in the table for the first time since the 1994-95 season.
Spurs have only suffered one defeat in 18 Premier League matches (W15, D2), winning their last eight games in a row.
They have won 12 consecutive games at White Hart Lane and are the only side unbeaten at home in the league this season (W15, D2).
A late Robert Huth own goal gave Arsenal a 1-0 win over Leicester City on Wednesday.
Arsenal go into today’s matches four points behind fifth placed Manchester United and five behind fourth-placed Manchester City.
The Gunners have a game in hand on both the Manchester clubs.
Liverpool, in third, are six points ahead of the Gunners having played two more games.
The Gunners have won four of their last five games in all competitions.
However, they have lost four of their previous five Premier League away matches, conceding 13 goals in the process.
Arsenal’s tally of 60 points after 32 Premier League matches is one more than they had at this stage last season when they went on to finish second.
The teams drew 1-1 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium on 6th November 2016. Arsenal opened the scoring from a Kevin Wimmer OG, with Harry Kane equalising from the penalty spot for Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham are unbeaten in each of their last five league encounters with Arsenal (W1 D4); they’ve never gone six consecutive league games without defeat against the Gunners.
Arsenal’s only win in their last eight Premier League visits to White Hart Lane was 1-0 in March 2014 (D3, L4).
However, the Gunners have scored in 35 of the last 36 Premier League north London derbies – the exception being a 0-0 draw in February 2009.
Arsenal have also got on the scoresheet in 22 of their last 23 visits to White Hart Lane in all competitions, only drawing a blank in a 0-0 draw in February 2009.
Harry Kane has five goals in his four previous north London derbies.
Kane has scored 18 goals in 25 London derbies in the Premier League – the second-best goals per game ratio in such derbies (0.72 goals per game) of players to play in five or more.
It is a record that places him just behind Thierry Henry (0.73 goals per game) but ahead of Jurgen Klinsmann (0.65 goals per game).
Christian Eriksen has had a hand in 16 goals in his last 12 games in all competitions for Tottenham (5 goals, 11 assists).
Since his debut in September 2013, Eriksen has scored more Premier League goals from outside the box than any other player (14).
Alexis Sanchez has scored 19 Premier League goals this season. One more would make him the fifth Arsenal player to score 20+ goals in a Premier League campaign (after Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Robin van Persie and Emmanuel Adebayor.)
Sanchez has now been involved in more goals than any other Premier League player in all competitions this season (38, 24 goals and 14 assists).
Pochettino is the first ever Tottenham manager to remain unbeaten in his first five top-flight north London Premier League derbies.
“I understand (the fans want to finish above Arsenal) but I am so honest, and my feeling is now we are so close, only four points, which is massive with only five games to play, but I will be very disappointed if we don’t win the title.
“At that moment I will start to think about all the good things this season and be realistic to analyse the season. But I really don’t think about which position Arsenal are in. My view and focus is to try to win every game and try to win the Premier League.
“For me (finishing above Arsenal) is not a motivation. The motivation for me is to win because it’s a derby and I know what it means to win a derby. My motivation is to try to win some titles with Tottenham, and my players improve every day and show we are better than the opposition.
“We learned after the FA Cup semi-final defeat that there is a lot of question marks about our performance and then our performance against Crystal Palace was fantastic. They can be disappointed in some games but never give up and fight.
“You cannot ignore the (Chelsea) game. But it’s true against Palace we played the day after Chelsea and it didn’t affect our preparation. That is the maturity we got from last season. We learn a lot, we improve a lot, and now we are focussed on winning games.”
Wenger has gone five league games without a win against Spurs for the first time in his career.
“I expect an open, committed match with high pace and there could be goals as both teams play positive football,” said Wenger.
“The last two games have been very important for us. We got positive results and we need to fight. We built some belief and showed everybody we have the mental strength. We have shown persistence, tenacity, a desire to win and keep going at any cost.
“We know what is needed for us until the end of the season. We will not sit back, we will try to go forward and win the game.”
“I don’t think the top three is decided, we have an opportunity to be in there but only if we win the games,” he added.
“We don’t have to speculate on who is in and not and there is a lot that can happen. It is simple for us, the only advantage is we don’t have to calculate, we just have to win our games.”
Mousa Dembele is a doubt after picking up an ankle injury in the win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Michel Vorm could return to the squad but Danny Rose is still absent with a knee injury.
Laurent Koscielny is a doubt with a knee injury picked up in the win over Leicester City on Wednesday.
Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) is two weeks away from a return.
Referee: Michael Oliver
Assistants: S Bennett, J Collin
Fourth official: A Marriner
A 1-1 draw.