The 191st North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur (W60) and Arsenal (W79) will see the two old foes face off in a crunch battle for UEFA Champions League (UCL) qualification next term.
Despite sitting in fifth place and trailing their visitors by four points, Antonio Conte’s rejuvenated ‘Spurs’ side are unbeaten in the last seven league derbies they’ve hosted (W5, D2) and will feel confident about avoiding a defeat that could spell the end of their top-four hopes and secure qualification for their adversaries.
An inspired defensive display in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool saw Tottenham become the first side to take PL points at Anfield since October 2021, and another stubborn display could see them build on an impressive run that has seen them lose once in their last eight games (W5, D2), conceding just five goals in the process.
Arsenal continued their own late-season charge with a 2-1 win over Leeds United for their fourth victory in a row, all of which witnessed both teams scoring.
It capped a good week for manager Mikel Arteta after signing a contract extension, but he knows there’s still a lot to do if they are to participate in the UCL for the first time since 2016/17.
“Winning any match is difficult. We are going to prepare as best we can,” he said ahead of his fifth North London derby as a manager (W2, L2) and the first to be held on a Thursday since 1971/72.
Despite the increased competitiveness of this rivalry in recent years, there hasn’t been an away winner in a PL H2H at any venue since Arsenal won 1-0 at Spurs in March 2014, although if anyone can inspire them to do so again almost a decade later, it’s Arteta – their captain on that day!
A result either way wouldn’t surprise though as the ‘Gunners’ last drew in league away action back in October (W8, L5).
Players to watch: Nobody has scored more PL goals in this fixture than Tottenham’s Harry Kane (11) while Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah has scored four times across his last four PL appearances, three of those coming inside the opening 15 minutes.
Hot stat: Just one of the last 17 H2H halves between these sides was goalless.