Every year Tottenham and Arsenal battle it out for the title of Kings Of North London, and Arsene Wenger had never lost that race until last season, when Mauriccio Pochettino finally got his Tottenham side above us and into the Champions League at our expense.
Now with just 12 games remaining in this campaign the Spuds are just 4 points ahead of us, and Saturday’s game is a veritable six-pointer if ever there was one and the Gunners will either drop away from our rivals or end up just one point behind, giving us every right to be confident of overtaking them before the end.
Arsenal’s new arrival’s and our empty treatment table must give us a boost, especially after last week’s demolition of Everton, but the reality is that we are playing away from the Emirates where our form has been worse than miserable. So let’s take a quick look at our last six away games…
Sun 10/12/17 PRL Southampton 1 – 1 Arsenal
Wed 13/12/17 PRL West Ham United 0 – 0 Arsenal
Thu 28/12/17 PRL Crystal Palace 2 – 3 Arsenal
Sun 31/12/17 PRL West Bromwich 1 – 1 Arsenal
Sun 14/01/18 PRL AFC Bournemouth 2 – 1 Arsenal
Tue 30/01/18 PRL Swansea City 3 – 1 Arsenal
That makes grim reading, especially when we all know we are brilliant when we play at home. Hopefully our new signings will not have the lack of confidence that our usual players do when they are away….
But even if we were on our best form, we should still be worried about facing Tottenham at Wembley. The Spuds haven’t lost any of their last 11 League games, but at Wembley they have been very formidable. Let’s look at their last six….
Sat 09/12/17 PRL Tottenham Hotspur 5 – 1 Stoke City
Wed 13/12/17 PRL Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Brighton
Tue 26/12/17 PRL Tottenham Hotspur 5 – 2 Southampton
Thu 04/01/18 PRL Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 1 West Ham United
Sat 13/01/18 PRL Tottenham Hotspur 4 – 0 Everton
Wed 31/01/18 PRL Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 0 Manchester United
Just the fact that they beat Man United in their last one (and followed up with a draw at Liverpool) should be a worry enough, but the fact is that they haven’t lost a home League game since Chelsea won there at the beginning of the season -back in August!
But of course we have to take into account that this is the big derby and anything can happen. Also Arsenal have an amazing record at Wembley, having stayed unbeaten in 10 Cup Finals, semifinals and Community Shields, so you could imagine we were playing at home!
This could be a nervous affair as both teams know how important it is to the fans, and especially to the race for the Champions League places. Wenger normally gets his players highly motivated for games like these, so I am hopeful he can work his magic again this time.
Let’s mash those Spuds!!!!