Tottenham host Arsenal on Sunday in what is a must win game for both teams in the race for a Champions League spot. Arsenal go into the game four points behind their North London rivals knowing that defeat is not an option.
Arsenal have had their critics recently after being knocked out of the F.A Cup by Blackburn, but only Manchester United (16) have taken more points than Arsenal (13) in the last 6 Premier League games. Tottenham have taken 12 points from a possible 18 in their last 6 EPL games and are currently on an 11 game unbeaten run in the league.
Clint Dempsey will miss the North London derby according to Sky Sports and is a week away from fitness, while Tom Huddlestone also misses out. Jermain Defoe is back in training, but this game may come too soon for him. Andre Villas Boas isn’t expected to make many changes, if any from their 3-2 victory over West Ham with Emmanuel Adebayor getting another chance up front against his old side.
Arsenal will be without Bacary Sagna after Arsene Wenger ruled him out with a knee injury and fellow full back Kieran Gibbs is still on the sidelines with a thigh injury. Abou Diaby has been rated 50-50 for the game after a recent calf injury, while Lukas Podolski and Laurent Koscielny will be pushing for recalls.
- The last two matches between these sides has finished 5-2 to Arsenal with Tottenham taking the lead both times.
- Tottenham have only lost 1 of their last 7 EPL home games against Arsenal.
- Gareth Bale is the first player to score 6 goals from outside the box since Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2008/2009 season.
- There have only been 10 goals scored in the first half at White Hart Lane this season, the fewest in the Premier League.
Mark Clattenburg takes charge of the North London derby this weekend, with both teams having very different records with him in charge this season.
Tottenham have won both of their games with Mark Clattenburg in charge this season (4-0 vs Aston Villa, 1-0 vs West Brom) while Arsenal lost 2-0 to Swansea, the only Arsenal game Clattenburg has refereed this season.
Since the 2008/2009 season Mark Clattenburg has taken charge of 11 Tottenham matches and 10 Arsenal matches, with Tottenham winning 64% of these matches and Arsenal winning 70% of their matches.
Tottenham have won 100% of their 4 home matches that Mark Clattenburg has taken charge of, while Arsenal have won 60% of their 5 away games with Clattenburg as the referee.
Mark Clattenburg has taken charge of two North London derbies since the 2008/2009 season, with both games coming in the 2009/2010 season. Tottenham won their home game 2-1, while Arsenal won the reverse fixture 3-0.
Although Gareth Bale has been fantastic for Tottenham this season, there has been another player that has really stood out – Hugo Lloris.
Hugo Lloris has kept 7 clean sheets in 17 starts for Tottenham this season and only conceded 16 goals at a rate of 0.94 goals per game.
Lloris has conceded 0.66 fewer goals per game than Brad Friedel this season and has kept 7 more clean sheets. Hugo Lloris has also caught the ball 73 minutes more often than Friedel, punched the ball 123 minutes more often and made 60 minutes more often than Friedel this season.
Brad Friedel has not entered into any ground or aerial 50-50’s this season, while Hugo Lloris has entered into 5 ground 50-50’s, 6 aerial 50-50’s and won 100% of both.
These stats show just what Tottenham have gained this season, as they now have a goalkeeper who is quick off his line, sweeps up well and is not afraid to come out and collect the ball. As well as being a good shot stopper Hugo Lloris has improved Tottenham greatly in defence this season.
Santi Cazorla has been Arsenal’s main creative threat this season and has also become the first Arsenal player to score 10 goals in their debut season since Thierry Henry.
Cazorla has made a pass every 1.2 minutes this season, with 83.29% of these passes being accurate and made 863 passes in the final third of the pitch with 82% of these passes being accurate. 45.2% of Santi Cazorla’s passes this season have been made in the final third.
The Spaniard has created 66 chances for Arsenal this season, which is a chance every 35 minutes and 9 clear cut chances, which is a clear cut chance every 258 minutes. Cazorla also has 6 assists to his name this season.
Santi Cazorla has created 20% of Arsenal’s overall chances this season and 17% of Arsenal’s overall clear cut chances this season as well as scoring 11 of Arsenal’s 52 Premier League goals.
So, if Tottenham want to be successful on Sunday then stopping Cazorla playing will be one of their main objectives.