On Sunday Tottenham will host lifelong archrivals and fellow North London neighbours, Arsenal. A fierce rivalry that has become the dirtiest derby in Premier League history, with 227 yellow cards handed out since the 1992/93 season.
Jose Mourinho will face a crucial trial as he attempts to earn silverware, while a floundering Mikel Arteta looks to steady his Emirates ship.
North London Derby Like No Other
Every game between Spurs and Arsenal is a game not to be missed. Tottenham sits at the top of the table alongside Liverpool on goal difference whilst the Gunners stumble in 14th. Mourinho’s team have taken the league by surprise and beaten both Manchester teams. Whereas, Arsenal are underachieving and sits closer to the relegation zone than the Europa League. Mikel Arteta and his long run changes at Arsenal are starting to run out of time for results. Tottenham will be looking to leave a trophy-less past behind and a win against their most hated rivals could boost their morale more.
Last Meetings Between Arsenal and Tottenham
The last encounters between Arsenal and Tottenham have shown their parity. Although Tottenham has a three-game unbeaten streak against Arsenal, there has been only one win for Spurs and two draws. The last time the Gunners took all three points was the 2018/19 season, beating Spurs 4-2 at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal hasn’t beaten Spurs on the road since the 2013/14 season when Spurs still played at White Hart Lane. In the last meeting between the two, Tottenham christened their new stadium with a 2-1 victory over their arch-rivals.
Players To Watch
Tottenham features plenty of players who can change the fate of the match at any given moment and so does Arsenal. However, Arsenal’s top players have not been on their best form recently.
Spurs’ free three are as menacing as any in Europe: Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane and Gareth Bale. This trio can take advantage of their speed against Arsenal’s slower defence. Tanguy Ndombele had a great outing at Stamford Bridge and will look to carry it on this weekend at home. Sergio Reguilon can grant security at the back against Arsenal’s constant sidelines attack. On the goal, Hugo Lloris is also an important asset to the team.
On the other hand, Arsenal also possesses some excellent attacking figures. Although, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is having a slow season he is always a threat to important games and shows up when most needed. The Gunners face some trouble in their starting lineup and cannot consolidate. All of Willian, Nicolas Pepe, Alexandre Lacazette and Bukayo Saka have failed to establish themselves regularly in the starting line-up and do not give any securities to the Spanish manager. The midfield is also affected by Thomas Partey‘s injury. At the back, Gabriel is one of a few players that can be highlighted from the Gunners’ defence whilst David Luiz may not be risked because of the head collision he suffered against Wolves with Raul Jimenez.
Pep’s Alumnus Will Face His Professor’s Biggest Rival
Two completely different game styles will clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Arteta brings a more fluid and “tiki-taka” gameplan to the table, whereas, Mourinho leaves antics behind and focuses on winning at all costs. Mourinho has an upper hand, as he has faced Pep Guardiola plenty of times and knows what to expect from Arteta.
The Spanish manager has a lot more on the line, too. He needs to obtain results in order to reassure the fans and the owners he is built for the job. Arsenal needs to leave the bottom spots and a win on Derby Day could be just what they need.
Mourinho wants to show his team is for real. Tottenham is still being doubted and because of their trophy-less past, they are taken for granted. The Portuguese manager has already taken underdog teams to championships and will try to do it one more time.
Both teams need the three points and will not settle for less. It is all on the line at the North London Derby. Who will prevail; Tottenham’s great present or Arsenal’s past? Will Arsenal’s historic supremacy over Spurs be enough to ruin their title run?
Main Image Credit
Embed from Getty Images