White Hart Lane hosts its final North London derby before its renovation, when Arsenal travel to play Tottenham on Sunday. Spurs’ temporary move to Wembley whilst the new stadium is completed is expected to be rubber-stamped in the coming days, as the game itself promises to be the most important meeting between the two sides in recent memory.
Spurs haven’t finished above Arsenal in 21 years and are in prime position to finish above their rivals for the first time since Arsene Wenger’s appointment as manager. Arsenal fans affectionately name the day that they can mathematically finish above Spurs as “St. Totteringham’s Day”, but that day has been coming later and later in the season and arguably might not actually take place this year. Spurs currently boast the superior team, as emphasised by their second place standing in the table and run of eight consecutive victories, but also behind the scenes, in signing key players to new long-term contracts and team spirit.
Spurs have overcome questions over their mentality in this winning run. This was most notable when they beat Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park 1-0, 24 hours after Chelsea defeated Southampton. A stunning strike from Christian Eriksen late on in the game won it for Spurs and kept their title hopes alive. The gap between them and Chelsea has been restored to four points, with five games to go and the title race is still very much alive.
Meanwhile Arsenal overcame Manchester City in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on Sunday, but laboured to victory over Leicester on Wednesday night. A late own goal from Robert Huth kept Arsenal’s hopes of a top four finish alive, but it would have been worrying for Wenger. The Gunners had 70% possession, but couldn’t break the Foxes down until the 86th minute, when Nacho Monreal’s wayward shot hit Huth and deflected past Kasper Schmeichel and into his own net.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal Predictions
This promises to be an absolutely cracking derby. Spurs have been superb at home all season and are yet to lose in the league at White Hart Lane, while Arsenal have it all to do in their quest to finish in the top four. However, you can’t look past Spurs in this one. They have a tremendous team spirit, while Arsenal are playing as individuals. You never know which Arsenal will turn up and they could get a draw if they tighten up and defend well.
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal Betting Tips
- Tottenham to win: 20/23
- Draw: 14/5
- Arsenal to win: 3/1
- Score draw: 33/10
- Dele Alli to score first: 21/4
Head to Head
- 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 have got on the scoresheet in 22 of their last 23 visits to White Hart Lane in all competitions, only drawing a 0-0 blank in February 2009.
- Mauricio Pochettino is the first ever Tottenham manager to remain unbeaten in his first five top-flight north London Premier League derbies.
- Arsene Wenger has gone five league games without a win against Spurs for the first time in his career.
- Harry Kane has scored in four consecutive Premier League appearances against Arsenal, netting five goals in the process. No Spurs player has scored more goals against Arsenal in the Premier League than Kane (5 – level with Gareth Bale).
- Kane is the first Englishman to score over 20 goals in three consecutive Premier League seasons since Alan Shearer (four seasons between 1993/94 and 1996/97).
- Only Liverpool vs. Spurs (140) has seen more Premier League goals than the north London derby (139).
Tottenham Hotspur Team News
Mauricio Pochettino has close to a full squad to pick from. Erik Lamela and Harry Winks are out for the season and the only other current injury doubts are Michel Vorm and Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Danny Rose returned to training earlier this week and Pochettino has hinted that the England international might start the game.
Arsenal Team News
Laurent Koscielny suffered a knee injury against Leicester and is a doubt for the game, as are Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Shkodran Mustafi. Mathieu Debuchy, Lucas Perez, Santi Cazorla and David Ospina will definitely miss out.