The North London Derby rarely fails to disappoint, and this weekend’s instalment should be no exception.
Bragging rites are always on the line whenever Tottenham and Arsenal meet in any competition, but with both clubs outside the top four and separated by just four points in the Premier League table, Arsene Wenger and Mauricio Pochettino will know how detrimental defeat could be for their respective sides’ Champions League hopes.
Arsenal will feel confident heading to Wembley, boasting nine consecutive wins at the home of English football, but Tottenham will be equally confident of another impressive result against the Big Six after beating Manchester United and drawing at Anfield.
So, can history tell us anything about how Saturday’s 12.30pm kickoff will pan out? Football FanCast looks back at the history of the North London Derby in the Premier League.
It’s Arsenal who have traditionally dominated this fixture during the Premier League era, boasting more wins, goals scored and clean sheets than Saturday’s hosts – which hardly comes as a huge shock considering Tottenham have only ever finished above the Gunners in one Premier League season to date.
Arsenal won the reverse fixture back in November as well, but the Gunners would be wise not to rely on past glories, because the playing field has undoubtedly levelled in recent years. Arsenal once went 20 Premier League games without ever losing to Tottenham, but the win earlier this season was actually their first in seven encounters, suffering defeat in two of them.
Likewise, although Arsenal won’t be travelling to White Hart Lane on Saturday – rather Wembley where they boast a formidable recent record – their away win rate against Spurs is just 20%. Likewise, their away win rate against all opponents in the Premier League this season is just 23%.
Emmanuel Adebayor is the only player in Premier League history to have scored for Arsenal against Spurs and for Tottenham against the Gunners, his 13 north London derby appearances producing a potent return of eight goals – that includes three strikes during the 2007/08 season alone when Arsene Wenger’s side did the double over their local rivals.
Throughout his Premier League career meanwhile, Tottenham was the side winger Robert Pires scored the most times against – nine goals overall and eight in the top flight, the other coming in the 2001 FA Cup semi-final.
Tottenham’s best representative, on the other hand, and the only member of the top five goalscorers still plying his trade with either club, is Harry Kane – the new king of the north London derby. He’s scored six goals in six Premier League outings versus the Gunners.
Tottenham fans may hate to admit it but Sol Campbell is still up there with the greatest centre-backs they’ve ever produced, if not one of the greatest players regardless of position.
Of course, you won’t hear many Spurs supporters giving their former captain that kind of praise after he turned his back on the club to sign for Arsenal on a free transfer in 2001 – one of the most shocking moves in English football’s recent history.
But the former England man won’t have too many regrets about leaving the Lilywhites behind; compared to just one League Cup to show for over 300 Spurs appearances, he lifted two FA Cups and two Premier League titles during his time at Arsenal and was a key part of their much-fabled ‘Invincibles’ side. The commanding centre-half even returned to the Emirates Stadium for a brief spell in 2009/10.
An eight-goal thriller inspired by a combination of some scintillating attacking play and some incredibly questionable goalkeeping.
Perhaps no goal epitomised that blend greater than David Bentley’s opening strike – a spectacular shot from long distance, but one that Manuel Almunia nonetheless turned into his own net. 25 minutes later at the other end, Heurelho Gomes charged off his line at a corner, allowing Mikael Silvestre a free header into an open net.
That was the signal for Arsenal to take control and the home side quickly added to their lead through William Gallas, who would later turn out for Spurs, and Samir Nasri, but Almunia gave the visitors a route back into the match as his parry fell straight into the path of Darren Bent.
The Gunners appeared to have sewn it up when Robin van Persie made it 4-2 upon the 68th minute. But Harry Redknapp’s side, at that time fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table after a disastrous start to the season under Juande Ramos, refused to give up and eventually the comeback came in the final few minutes.
Upon the 89th, Jermain Jenas stepped inside before elegantly curling the ball into the top corner of the net and upon the fourth minute of stoppage time, a Luka Modric piledriver cannoned off the post, straight into the path of Aaron Lennon who prodded home for a last-second equaliser. The shares were spoiled, but for a Spurs side on the cusp of a relegation scrap it felt like a cup-final victory.
Historically, the North London derby isn’t an easy game to predict. But if you are willing to take a position on the big rivalry game this Saturday, we have an Premier League outright win treble that will pay out handsomely! In this week’s Accy Show, we’ve also put together a fantastic EFL fourfold, with odds that could see you earn ten times your stake. Check it out and let us know where you’re putting your coins this weekend!