Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal – stats, team news, line-ups

Preview: Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal - stats, team news, line-ups

The Premier League title race takes centre stage in north London this Sunday as league leaders Arsenal make a short trip across the capital to face bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in a potentially season-defining encounter.

Arsenal head into the clash brimming with confidence after a dominant 5-0 thrashing of Chelsea. In stark contrast, Tottenham have had a fortnight to stew over a disappointing display at Newcastle United. 

Both teams have a lot riding on this fixture, and their contrasting form promises an explosive encounter – one you can attend when you buy Tottenham vs Arsenal tickets from Seatsnet.com.

Tottenham face a daunting run-in as we approach the season finale.

Unfortunately, their two-week break preceding the north London derby has done little to soothe the wounds inflicted by a dreadful 4-0 defeat at Newcastle in their last outing.

Spurs’ display at St. James’ Park was a stark reminder of their inconsistency. Alexander Isak was at the double a fortnight ago, with Anthony Gordon getting on the score sheet in between the Swede’s brace.

Gordon then turned provider, setting up Fabian Schar, who added gloss to an exceptional Newcastle performance with a late strike.

While Tottenham have been idle, their top-four rivals, Aston Villa, haven’t missed a beat. 

After back-to-back wins against Arsenal and Bournemouth, Unai Emery’s side have extended their advantage on Spurs to six points. But they’ve played two more games than Ange Postecoglou’s troops.

Postecoglou’s dream of bringing his high-octane brand of football to the Champions League stage next season is gradually fading. 

Spurs cannot afford any more slip-ups in a challenging fixture list that features clashes against Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester City before the season concludes.

Since Harry Kane’s summer exit, the leadership mantle has fallen squarely on the shoulders of Son Heung-min, Tottenham’s last remaining north London derby hero. 

The South Korean boasts a stellar record against Arsenal, having scored six goals and provided two assists against the Gunners throughout his career, including a crucial brace that salvaged a draw in the reverse fixture.

After a rocky patch that featured consecutive defeats to Villa and Bayern Munich, Arsenal have silenced doubters with emphatic wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea. 

There were plenty of concerns that Arsenal were about to capitulate in the run-in, mirroring last season’s disappointment.

However, after humiliating Chelsea 5-0 at the Emirates – their biggest-ever Premier League victory against the Blues – Arsenal have reignited their title pursuit with aplomb.

Kai Havertz returned to haunt his former employers, bagging a brace alongside unlikely hero Ben White to cap off a remarkable outing after a four-minute opener from Leandro Trossard.

The victory propelled the Gunners to the summit of the Premier League standings. But after Manchester City thrashed Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 in midweek, only a point separates both sides, although Pep Guardiola’s men have a game in hand.

If they’re to keep the Cityzens at bay, however temporarily, Arsenal must avoid complacency and navigate a tricky run of fixtures. After taking on Spurs, they’ll face Bournemouth, Manchester United, and relegation-battling Everton.

Arsenal’s lack of a traditional striker has been a lingering concern throughout the season, but Champions League winner Havertz has been in impressive form in recent weeks.

The German has silenced his naysayers admirably, notching an impressive 11 Premier League goals this season. He’d be keen to bolster his tally in yet another crucial derby six-pointer.

If history is anything to go by, Sunday’s clash with Tottenham promises fireworks. 

This fixture was the most drawn matchup in Premier League history, with 20 of the 48 meetings ending level (42%). That was until the 2015/2016 campaign that marked the beginning of a new era.

Since then, the north London derby has seen fewer stalemates, with just four out of 15 ending in a draw (27%), setting the stage for a dramatic encounter that could leave one side heartbroken.

Match Preview

Tottenham must engineer a positive response to the thrashing at Newcastle, but their statistics against their north London foes suggest the Lilywhites could be heading for another difficult contest.

They’ve won just one of their last six Premier League meetings with Arsenal (D1, L4) – a worrying trend considering they had only suffered four defeats in the previous 16 before the slump (W6, D6).

However, Spurs’ attacking record at home offers a silver lining. They’ve scored in a staggering 25 consecutive Premier League games on home turf.

That impressive run ranks third in club history after a couple of 29-match scoring streaks between January 2016 – August 2017 and April 2011 – October 2012.

They’ll bank on their final third prowess on Sunday, considering they haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 12 Premier League home games, their worst run since 2003 (15). 

Only relegation-threatened duo Burnley (1) and Sheffield United (2) have managed fewer clean sheets at home than Spurs this season, which suggests they will struggle to keep a rampant Arsenal side at bay.

The Premier League title race is reaching a fever pitch. Arsenal have momentum, but City are breathing down their necks. 

However, there’s a strong belief within the Gunners camp that they can finally end a 21-year wait for the coveted title this season.

Last season, Arsenal recorded a 2-0 win in this exact fixture. But not since 1988 have they secured back-to-back away league victories over Spurs.

One positive sign for the Gunners is their defensive solidity away from home, having kept six consecutive clean sheets on the road.

Another one at the weekend will put them in elite company, as only Chelsea and Manchester United have managed seven consecutive clean sheets on their travels in recent Premier League history.

However, keeping Spurs at bay will be a different story, as they have never managed to shut out their rivals in consecutive away league visits.

Team News & Potential Line-ups

Destiny Udogie will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his quadriceps, but Pedro Porro is available after shaking off a knock he picked up against Newcastle.

Up front, Richarlison is fit again after spending three weeks on the sidelines. His return to the fold could push Son Heung-min to the wing, where he would likely be joined by Brennan Johnson, Spurs’ most in-form forward.

Meanwhile, Jurrien Timber is the only injury concern for Arsenal, but Mikel Arteta has hinted that the Dutchman could return to the squad on Sunday.

Tottenham potential starting line-up:

(4-2-3-1): Guglielmo Vicario; Pedro Porro, Cristian Romero, Micky van de Ven, Ben Davies; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Yves Bissouma, Brennan Johnson, James Maddison, Son Heung-min; Richarlison.

Arsenal potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): David Raya; Ben White, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Thomas Partey, Declan Rice, Martin Odegaard; Leandro Trossard, BUkayo Saka, Kai Havertz.

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