The North London derby tends to make for enthralling encounters. It seems to produce consistently excellent football, drawing the best (and occasionally worst) out of both teams. Their rivalry may not be the fiercest in world football, but it has a good case to be the most entertaining. On Saturday, Tottenham and Arsenal will settle scores at White Hart Lane in what should serve up a mouth-watering spectacle.
Could this be the season Spurs finish above their arch rivals Arsenal? It’s not all said and done but with less than a third of the season to go this looks to be a major possibility. Last year on Arsenal’s FA Cup parade bus Jack Wilshere referred to his North London rivals as “sh**” and this year he may have to eat his words if his Arsenal teammates fail to get their act together in their remaining games. Spurs haven’t lost since January and that was to table-toppers Leicester. They are a team oozing with confidence and they seem to never back down. This young Spurs team is showing more hunger than the Gunners and it might just be time for Spurs to take the throne in North London. Long gone is the widespread sniggering you usually get at this time of the year when you wonder whether or not poor Click-to-bet-now-300x40old Spurs can finish above Arsenal in the top four. Spurs are no more the laughing stock: not only can they finish above Arsenal, but there is every chance they could pip them to the Premier League title by doing so. A home win could see Spurs lead Arsenal by six points with only nine games to play, providing both pick up three points in midweek. Spurs have won six straight matches and after watching Arsenal lose to an under-strength Manchester United side, they must surely smell blood. Dele Alli runs the show in midfield with his quick-feet and fantastic dribbling skills. He has fantastic potential and individual talent to produce a goal out of nothing. In attack, Harry Kane is one of the most feared goal scorers in the Premier League. He holds up the play and brings others into the action and his close control for a lanky player is equally superb. Kane has 16 league goals this season and he’ll be looking to lift his side to victory.
Arsenal suffered a 3-2 defeat against a severely depleted United side – missing 14 first team players – a result that has damaged the Gunners’ Premier League title bid. Now Arsene Wenger’s side are three points behind second placed Tottenham and five off leaders Leicester with 11 games remaining at the time of writing. And Arsenal, who are next in action at home to Swansea City on Wednesday, face Spurs at White Hart Lane on Saturday. Wenger’s side will need a significantly improved performance against Spurs if they are to claim a vital win, but it will be a very tough task given how consistently good Mauricio Pochettino’s team have been this season. Failure to snatch all three points will leave them with a mountain to climb with just nine games remaining. Even though the Gunners managed to win at White Hart Lane earlier this season in the Capital One Cup, they haven’t won there in the league for two years and haven’t managed a win at home against them either in the past three years. Arsenal’s title hopes are hanging by a thread following the United defeat, and the Gunners need to show their mettle if they are to stay in the hunt for a first top-flight trophy since 2004. This season’s wins against Manchester United, Manchester City and Leicester City had everyone feeling like this could be their year. However, Arsenal just can’t find that consistency and at the moment it’s not looking bright for them at all. The season is still far from over but if the Gunners fail to win any of their remaining games they may well be out of the title race, and if Tottenham do indeed finish ahead of Wenger’s side it will be extremely painful for the Arsenal faithful. It’s time for all the players to stand up and prove their worth, Alexis Sanchez has been a shadow of himself and Arsenal need him to return to his best form for the last part of the season. Olivier Giroud’s failure to score in his last eight has alarmed his critics again. The Gunners have to put in the work if they want to be champions. It’s been 12 years, their fans are tired of the excuses.