Defeat at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon will leave Arsenal seven points behind their fiercest rivals. Tottenham have lost the past two North London derbies 5-2, but Emmanuel Adebayor’s early dismissal in the reverse fixture this season certainly didn’t help their cause.
Andre Villas-Boas has guided his side into third place on the back of 11 games without defeat in the league. Much of Spurs’ good work has come from recently named player of the month Gareth Bale. The Welsh wizard has bagged eight goals in his last six games and has 19 for the season in all competitions.
The Gunners have also not won at the Lane since 2007, while the last three fixtures between the two sides, the team that scored first lost the match. There have been two red cards shown to Spurs in the previous three clashes.
Spurs versus Arsenal is the highest scoring fixture in Premier League history.
Two late goals at St Andrews helped Leeds set up a cracking FA Cup fourth round tie with Tottenham at Elland Road. Spurs made light work of Coventry in a comfortable 3-0 victory, but Andre Villas-Boas will be expecting a far tougher test in Yorkshire on Sunday.
The clubs last met in the 2009/10 campaign for an FA Cup tie in which Spurs prevailed. Leeds did earn a replay though after drawing 2-2 in the first match – they lost the replay 3-1 on the back of a hat-trick from Jermain Defoe.
Tottenham and Leeds also met in the same competition in 1998/99 and the Yorkshire club forced a replay on that occasion too.
Spurs’ last away game was at Loftus Road and they could only manage a goalless draw with relegation threatened QPR.
After Manchester United dropped two points at St James’ Park last night, Arsenal will feel their title charge is not quite over yet. Up next are arch-rivals Spurs though.
It's a huge game for Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham at White Hart Lane this evening and they will relish the opportunity to wreak further havoc on their Arsenal's season. Spurs last did the double over Arsenal in 1992/93, but they have an opportunity to do it again tonight.
The North London derby is always a high-intensity battle, but some will be surprised to learn that the last red card came four matches ago, as Emmanuel Eboue was given his marching orders. In fact, the four most recent derbies have been fairly uneventful. The highest bookings index total in this time was 50, when these two clubs clashed in the Carling Cup in September.
The lowest total make-up came at the Emirates in the 2009/10 campaign when only two yellow cards were handed out. The average bookings total in the past four clashes is just 37.5 points.
Tottenham’s dip in form couldn’t have come at a worse time as they prepare for their biggest test of their history against Real Madrid in Spain. If Harry Redknapp’s task was not tough enough, Spurs have not won in five matches across all competitions and have failed score in their last three outings.
At the weekend Jose Mourinho’s nine-year unbeaten home league record came to an end against lowly Sporting Gijon. The 1-0 defeat will give Spurs some belief, as well as the site of Gareth Bale back on the training pitch.
Match supremacy punters might be interested to learn that Los Merengues have won all four home European fixtures without conceding a single goal. In the battle of the managers, Mourinho has been a constant thorn in Redknapp’s side – beating him in their past five meetings.
Manchester United are sitting pretty at the top of the table, two points clear of their bitter rivals Man City with two games in hand. The Red Devils remain unbeaten in the league, but that impressive record will be severely tested at White Hart Lane this Sunday.
Spurs have lost just once at home since August and have held the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea here. Manager Harry Redknapp will be confident of getting something from United considering their inconsistent away league form since August. Nine away games have only produced two United victories, while they have kept only two clean sheets in that period.
The visitors have scored 15 goals in the last six league matches and Spurs have scored eleven in their previous six at the Lane. This one promises to be an absolute cracker and the stats suggest there are goals in this one for total goal buyers.
The Red Devils put Spurs to the sword the last time these clubs clashed in North London, eventually running out 3-1 winners. Jermain Defoe opening the scoring in the first minute, before United rallied back.For bookings punters, there were five bookings and red card in that match, although games since have not kept the ref quite so busy.
Total goal sellers would argue that the two clashes at the Lane prior to the 3-1 result produced a goalless draw and a 1-1 result. Goals minutes bettors will note that a goal has been scored in the 78th minute or later in each of the last four league head-to-heads.