In what could be seen as a must win game for both sides, Tottenham welcome Arsenal to White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
The North London rivals come into this game aiming for different things. Tottenham have had a difficult few weeks and will need a victory to consolidate their position in fifth place and keep within sniffing distance of the top four.
Meanwhile Arsenal will need a win if they are to have any hope of staying in the title race. They currently find themselves seven points behind Chelsea but do have a game in hand, however they need to make sure they can pick up as many points as possible if they are to catch the Blues.
The derby is always played with high intensity but the situation on both sides of the rivalry could make for a great game.
Tim Sherwood will have to make do without the services of Michael Dawson who has a hamstring injury. Etienne Capoue, Vlad Chiriches and Erik Lamela are also missing for Tottenham but there is good news for the fans with the knowledge that Moussa Dembele could return to action this weekend. Younes Kaboul will also be available after his red card at Chelsea was overturned on appeal during the week.
The most notable absence from the Arsenal team is Mesut Ozil who has a hamstring tear, not to mention the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott who are all out of action. However, Nacho Monreal and Yaya Sanogo should be okay and Wojciech Szczesny returns after being unable to play against Bayern Munich.
- Tottenham have only managed to keep one clean sheet in their last 30 North London derbies in the Premier League.
- No player has scored more goals in this fixture than Emmanuel Adebayor with 10, however eight of those goals were while he was at Arsenal.
- However, Tottenham have kept four clean sheets in their last five league games at home.
- Arsenal have only kept one clean sheet in their last seven away games in the league, and have won none of the last three.
- Per Mertesacker has scored in two of his last three games against Tottenham.
- The Gunners have failed to win in any of the last five derbies at White Hart Lane in the league.
Adebayor has been in great form for Spurs since returning to regular action under Sherwood. In 14 appearances for the team in the league, he has managed to score eight goals. Based on his playing time, this means he is scoring a goal every 147 minutes on average from 20 shots at goal. As 14 of these have been on target, it means the striker has a shooting accuracy of 70%. He only has a chance conversion of 40% however and has the same rate with his clear-cut chances, converting just four of the 10 that have opened up for him.
The former Arsenal player has contributed in other ways as well, creating 22 chances which have resulted in three assists for his team mates. He has also managed to create four clear-cut chances as well. Arsene Wenger will know what his team are facing with Adebayor and will have to make sure his defence prepare accordingly.
The midfielder has played well for Arsenal this season but hasn’t managed to match the performances of last year. Cazorla has created 42 chances of which 29 were in open play. However only four of these have resulted in assists for his team mates, which is only one more than Tottenham’s Adebayor despite appearing in eight games more. However, this does mean he is creating a chance every 43 minutes on average for his team.
He has also managed to score four goals this season from 34 shots at goal. This may seem like a poor return but 21 of his shots were on target, meaning that Cazorla actually has a shooting accuracy of 62%. The Spaniard may not have played as well as he can this season in some respects, but Tottenham cannot afford to become complacent or he could punish them.
Both teams need the win but have plenty of injuries. I think this will only result in the two sides cancelling each other out, and so I think it will end in a 1-1 draw.