North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal faceoff sunday in a Super Sunday clash at White Hart Lane in a match bound to have implications beyond bragging rights. Tottenham have not finished above their neighbours in the Premier League since 1995 but Mauricio Pochettino’s side can break that run if they beat their visitors.
“It’s certainly one of the few times where, if you look at people’s opinions, Spurs are favourites,” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said. “It looks a bit like that but it doesn’t matter too much to me. It’s true that always in our press conferences we have to respond, if the worst happens what do you do? But let’s make sure that the best happens and give absolutely everything to make sure that we finish in a very strong way our season.”
Tottenham boss Pochettino insists he “doesn’t think” about Arsenal’s position and says his focus is to “try to win every game and try to win the Premier League”.
“I knew it was a big London derby but I felt the magnitude of what it means to the Tottenham fans when I started here and felt how the fans feel,” he said.
A win for Tottenham will see them heap more pressure on Chelsea as the Premier League race reaches its final stretch whilean Arsenal win will boost the Gunners fading Top Four dream.
Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele faces a race against time to be fit for the crucial north London derby as he’s struggling with an ankle injury. Danny Rose is unlikely to feature for the hosts, despite returning to training after three months out with a knee problem.
Erik Lamela (hip) and Harry Winks (ankle) are both unavailable but goalkeeper Michel Vorm has recovered from a knee injury and is available again.
Wenger could be without Koscielny at White Hart Lane. The defender suffered a knee injury in Wednesday’s win over Leicester and is rated at only having a 60 per cent chance of playing.
Fellow defender Shkodran Mustafi (thigh) is out for another two weeks while David Ospina (back), Lucas Perez (thigh) and Santi Cazorla (Achilles) are all absent.
Tottenham are unbeaten in each of their last five league encounters with Arsenal (W1 D4); they’ve never gone six consecutive league games without defeat against the Gunners.
Pochettino’s side have now won eight consecutive league games for the first time since October 1960, when they secured 13 successive victories.