Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal - Match Preview, Stats & Team News

To be played on Sunday 16th March 2014 at 16:00. Venue: White Hart Lane, London.

Odds: Tottenham Hotspur 21/10, Draw 12/5, Arsenal 6/4

Last season: 2-1

Preview & injury news

Tottenham will be desperate for a win after last week's embarrassing second half display against Chelsea which has left their hopes of getting into the Champions League for next season looking very slim indeed. However, a win for fifth placed Spurs would put them within three points of their fiercest rivals, even though the Gunners will have played a game less. Tottenham's form hasn't been great of late - if anything it has been quite patchy ever since the Europa League restarted, and they will be hoping for no hangover here, especially following their 3-1 loss to Benfica at White Hart Lane, where the home side were well beaten. They have won three of their last five in the league, losing the other two.

Arsenal bounced back from their disappointing defeat to Stoke City in the Premier League with a comfortable win over Everton to reach the semi-finals of the FA Cup. Though they were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich they put in a creditable performance in the Allianz Arena, drawing 1-1 on the night against the European Champions. They're in amongst a difficult period of fixtures so a win would be welcome for the Gunners to keep in touch with the rest at the top of the table but their form has been inconsistent over the past five league games.

On the injury front, Tottenham captain Michael Dawson is ruled out with a hamstring injury until the end of the month. Etienne Capoue is still out with an ankle injury, whilst Erik Lamela and Vlad Chriches are both still recovering from back problems. Mousa Dembele may return to the side after missing out on the Europa League side against Benfica with a hamstring injury. Kyle Walker and Sandro both picked up knocks against Benfica and are at risk of missing out.

For Arsenal, their most high profile absentee is Mesut Ozil who has a hamstring problem after being substituted in midweek against Bayern Munich. Aaron Ramsey will not be part of the side because of a thigh problem whilst Yaya Sanogo could be available after an ankle problem. Kim Kallstrom may be available to make his debut for the Gunners after a back problem whilst left-back Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal may be available for selection after ankle problems. Nicklas Bendtner is sidelined with a knee problem, Jack Wilshere is absent with an ankle problem whilst Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby are continuing their recovery from long-term ligament injuries.

Key stats

Here are the two teams top scorers in the Premier League this season:

Olivier Giroud Arsenal FW 12 26 2,244
Emmanuel Adebayor Spurs FW 8 14 1,178
Aaron Ramsey Arsenal MF 8 18 1,495
Roberto Soldado Spurs FW 6 23 1,709
Theo Walcott Arsenal MF 5 13 858
Paulinho Spurs MF 4 23 1,861

Their average possession statistics:

NamePossession PercentagePlayed
Arsenal 56.79 28
Tottenham Hotspur 54.21 29

And the amount of clean sheets the sides have kept this season:

NameClean SheetPlayed
Tottenham Hotspur 12 29
Arsenal 12 28

5 players to watch

Jan Vertonghen - It was Vertonghen's mistake that opened the floodgates at Stamford Bridge last week and led to Tottenham's implosion. Tim Sherwood will be demanding a better display and Vertonghen will play a key role in ensuring there is improvements at the back.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain - The Ox has been in impressive form of late, and was the real bright spark in the Arsenal side in Munich in midweek. There's no doubt he can make the difference in a big game for his side and terrorise the Spurs back line if he's given the space to run into.

Emmanuel Adebayor - Adebayor is not the most popular figure amongst the visiting fans, and isn't a stranger to either scoring or getting sent off against his old club. He is also Tottenham's biggest threat going forward, so will he come up with the goods for the home side this weekend?

Thomas Vermalen - Vermalen probably hasn't played as much football as he would've liked over the past year but he played pretty well at left-back in midweek. Arsenal will taking into account the fitness of the more natural left-backs, but will Arsene Wenger keep him in the side for the North London derby?

Sandro - The man they call the beast is likely to have a big say in the middle of the park this weekend, against an Arsenal side full of craft and pace. The Brazilian is going to have to be at the top his game to negate any threat coming from the visitors in midfield.

Earlier on in the season

Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham, September 2013

The game was settled thanks to a brilliant, improvised finish from Olivier Giroud. Both sides had their chances and the game started off with both sides looking a threat going forward. But it was Arsenal who broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Theo Walcott's low cross was somehow poked home by the left foot of Giroud who continued his good goalscoring start to the season. Both sides had their share of problems from the game, though, as Jack Wilshere was substituted at half time because of illness whilst Etienne Capoue fell awkwardly on his ankle 15 minutes from the end.

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