Tottenham vs Arsenal Preview

High-flying Spurs will look to end Arsenal's hopes of finishing in the top four this weekend at White Hart Lane.
Spurs will look to end Arsenal's hopes of finishing in the top four this weekend at White Hart Lane.
English Premier League | Sunday 30 April | White Hart Lane | 17:30

North London enemies Tottenham and Arsenal renew hostilities at White Hart Lane on Sunday in what promises to be an epic clash. The roles have changed between these teams with Spurs now chasing the Premier League title while the Gunners are struggling to finish in the top four. Arsene Wenger is under huge pressure, and with Arsenal a whopping 14 points behind Spurs, it seems that St. Totteringham's Day – the day in which Gooners can celebrate finishing above their north London rivals – will be cancelled this year, with Spurs surely set to finish above Arsenal for the first time since 1995. These sides have cancelled each other out in their last three Premier League meetings and both teams will see this as a must-win game.

*Please note that this article was written prior to their midweek fixtures on Wednesday 26 April.

To Win (90mins)
Tottenham 19/20
Draw 26/10
Arsenal 5/2

Tottenham

Tottenham will be hoping to move on from last Saturday’s 4-2 defeat by rivals Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley Stadium. Mauricio Pochettino’s team are enjoying a seven-match winning run in the Premier League and will look to continue their hot streak over arch-rivals Arsenal.

Spurs have won just once in their last nine meetings against Arsenal, drawing four and losing four. That win came in the 2014/15 season when Harry Kane scored twice after Mesut Ozil had opened the scoring. Pochettino’s side will be hoping to take maximum points from their north London rivals as they aim to keep their title hopes alive.

Pochettino’s team have not lost a single Premier League game at home this season. They’ve won 15 and drawn two from 17 matches. Furthermore, they have scored the most (43) and conceded the fewest (8) home goals in the Premier League this season. Spurs have registered 12 consecutive home victories in the league, their longest-ever winning streak on home soil in a single top-flight season.

Pochettino has built up one of the strongest squads in the league and has mainly done so by getting the best out of young, English talent. While the likes of Eric Dier, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Harry Winks have all impressed, Dele Alli and Kane have been the standout performers for Spurs this season.

Alli has been in fine form for Pochettino’s side, scoring 16 goals and providing five assists. The talented 21-year-old has won the PFA Young Player of the Year award for the second season in a row. The main goal threat will come from Kane, who has scored five goals in the north London derby. Kane has been in free-scoring form this season, netting 26 goals in 32 appearances.

Christian Eriksen is another player who has been outstanding for Pochettino’s side. The Danish international has scored seven goals while racking up 12 assists, just one behind top assist-maker Kevin De Bruyne. With the likes of Eriksen, Alli and Kane, Spurs will pose a great threat.



Arsenal

Arsenal will be high on confidence after beating Manchester City 2-1 in extra-time last Sunday to book their place in next month’s FA Cup final against Chelsea. The Gunners will be desperate for three points against Spurs which will boost their top four hopes while giving Gooners the bragging rights.

Arsenal recorded a 2-1 win over relegation-threatened Middlesbrough in their last away match, ending a four-match losing streak on the road. Prior to that, Arsene Wenger’s side suffered defeats on visits to Chelsea, Liverpool, West Brom and Crystal Palace, shipping three goals in each of those matches. The Gunners will be hoping to make it back-to-back away wins in the Premier League for the first time since October.

Wenger’s side went unbeaten on their two trips to White Hart Lane last season. They won 2-1 in a League Cup third-round tie thanks to a brace from Mathieu Flamini and earned a 2-2 draw in the Premier League, despite playing the final 35 minutes with 10 men. Arsenal’s last league win at Spurs came in the 2013/2014 campaign when Tomas Rosicky scored the only goal of the match.

Wenger needs his stars to perform against Spurs on Sunday and Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil need to step up. Sanchez is one of the most feared forwards in the league, having scored 19 goals while racking up nine assists. He scored the winner against City in the FA Cup last Sunday and Wenger will rely on the Chilean to deliver the goods once again.

The Gunners will also need Ozil to step up in what is an enormous game. The German playmaker has faced a lot of criticism for not only being inconsistent, but failing to show up in big games as well. On he’s day, he is one of the best attacking midfielders in the game. Ozil needs to show his class and turn up for this game.

Theo Walcott has fallen out of favour in recent weeks – mainly due to Wenger’s formation switch to 3-4-2-1 – but it could be wise to bring him back in the team. He has scored 19 goals for Arsenal this season, including goals against Bayern Munich, Manchester City and Chelsea. Walcott loves playing against Spurs – he’s scored four goals in the north London derby.

Probable line-ups:

Tottenham: 3-4-2-1
Lloris; Dier, Alderweireld, Vertonghen; Walker, Dembele, Wanyama, Davies; Alli, Eriksen; Kane

Arsenal: 3-4-2-1
Cech; Gabriel, Koscielny, Mustafi; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Xhaka, Monreal; Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud

Prediction: 1-1 Draw (57/10)
Form goes out the window whenever these two teams met. It’s a must-win game for both teams and neither side will want to lose this one. Arsenal will be looking to become the first team to beat Spurs on their turf, but it’s not going to be easy. I’m expecting a tight affair with the teams tipped to share the spoils at 1-1.

Written by Chadley Nagel