Posted on | March 3, 2013 | No Comments
This is always one of the most anticipated derby games around, with both of these London clubs having absolutely everything to play for as they prepare for Sunday’s clash. While Arsenal used to be the dominant outfit, they currently sit behind Spurs in the table with both aiming to secure a top four finish and bring Champions League football next season.
There were more than a few raised eyebrows when Tottenham decided to appoint Andre Villas-Boas in the summer, with many shocked that the club would take such a risk after experiencing so much success under Harry Redknapp. However, now that we are entering the business end of the season, it is clear that the White Hart Lane outfit made a very shrewd move and AVB is living up to the reputation he coined during his fruitful time at Porto. Tottenham look very likely to do exactly what they failed to last season and finish in the top four, with their fifty one points putting them in 4th spot. Furthermore, if they can secure the three points this weekend, they will move seven ahead of their opponents. All of this should provide perfect motivation for Villas-Boas’ men, who will be approaching the fixture following a productive February which saw them collect maximum points from their three league outings.
Arsenal on the other hand have had a hugely disappointing season and question marks are well and truly lingering over the future of Arsene Wenger. Once again, the Gunners haven’t launched any sort of push towards the top two places and there is no guarantee they will finish in the top five. Furthermore, having been knocked out of the FA Cup by Championship side Blackburn and taken a 3-1 first-leg defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, the Gunners really have very little left to play for. On a more positive note, they have won their last three in the Premiership, but with these victories arriving against sides situated in the bottom half, it remains to be seen how their game will alter when they are faced with stronger opposition.
As for team news, Tottenham have been handed some good news for the clash with Jermain Defoe set to be involved in some capacity after recovering from an ankle problem. However, that’s the only positive that AVB can take into the fixture, with the likes of Sandro, Tom Huddlestone, Clint Dempsey and Younes Kaboul all on the treatment table and set to miss out. It’s mixed for the visitors meanwhile, with defensive duo Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs both definite absentees as they struggle on the sidelines. However, Arsene Wenger at least has something to smile about, with Abou Diaby available following a calf layoff.
In terms of a prediction, all of the stats point towards a Spurs victory in this clash. However, with the chips completely down at Arsenal, we have a sneaky feeling the Gunners can cause a surprise and at least claim a draw at White Hart Lane this time around. Therefore, our tip will be a 2-2 score line.