It’s good times for Spurs fans as their team sit top of the Premier League table for the second week in a row, thirteen places above their rivals, and now prepare for Sunday where they will play Arsenal for the 47th time in Premier League history.
The fixture last took place in July this year, where goals from Heung-Min Son and Toby Alderweireld collectively overturned an early Alexandre Lacazette belter from outside the box.
Tottenham go into this game unbeaten in their last six premier league home games against their North London rivals (W4 D2) since a 0-1 loss in March 2014, their longest run against them in five decades.
14th place is the lowest Arsenal have been in the table going into this fixture since August 1993. However, overall they have 82 wins in the North London Derby compared to Spurs’ 65, coinciding with 54 draws.
The Gunners go into this weekend’s clash after a 4-1 win at the Emirates against Austrian side SK Rapid Wien on Thursday, whilst Mourinho’s side look to better upon their 3-3 away draw with another Austrian team, LASK, which resulted in knock-out qualification.
Spurs were without Sergio Reguilón, Vinicíus and Harry Kane in training prior to the Europa league, however are expected to be fit for Sunday. There are some concerns over the fitness of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who is out with illness and the possibility of Joe Hart being between the sticks for the derby is slowly becoming more and more of a reality.
Arsenal find themselves in a tougher situation, with summer signing, Thomas Partey out with a thigh issue. Pablo Mari and Sead Kolasinac are set to return after the weekend whilst Callum Chambers is almost 100% recovered from a knee problem. Centre-back David Luiz, who played last time out between the two sides, is out with a head injury after his clash with Raul Jimenez last week.
The Gunners prepare, aware that they have not won a Premier League game in just over a month, where they grabbed three points at Old Trafford after a converted penalty by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Spurs have conceded the least amount of goals in the league this season (9) as well as scoring the joint-most (21), whilst Arsenal have scored ten in ten games.
This statistic likely won’t affect either manager, but Jose Mourinho had this to say about Mikel Arteta: “I think he is a good coach but I want to respect the others… “To be the Arsenal coach, you have to be good – if you are not good, you are not there.”
Arguably the best part is that for the first time since March, fans will be allowed back into the stadium. A total of 2000 seats have been allocated by ballot to the home fans.
A win in this fierce fixture will keep Tottenham on the top of the table, but will mean a handful of new problems for the Gunners.
Written by Benzi Melcer
Edited by Joey Pickthall