OPTA PREVIEW: Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal
With Arsenal having suffered Champions League disappointment against Chelsea, Spurs could be another London side throwing a spanner in the works of the Gunners season. All eyes at Highbury are on going through the season unbeaten before beating Nottingham Forest’s long-standing 42 game unbeaten run early next season. Victory for Spurs on Saturday could wipe out Arsenal’s record hopes.
Tottenham are in need great need of a lift at the moment having not won in their last six Premiership games. This is their worst run of form for the season and no side has earned fewer points than David Pleat’s men over that period of time. It gets worse for Spurs when you look at their record in London derbies, having won only 15 the 51 derbies played at White Hart Lane in the Premiership, although the record against Arsenal in particular is good as the Gunners have won just twice in the Premiership at White Hart Lane.
Spurs main problem of late has been a lack of goals. Just three have come in the past eight games — a far cry from the 12 they managed in just three games during February. At that time Tottenham were among the leading scorers in the top flight but there are now ten sides that have hit more than David Pleat’s side, who have averaged 1.24 goals per game this season. This is a far cry from the league’s leading scorers Arsenal, who are the only side averaging over two goals per game this term.
Last weekend saw Tottenham draw a blank at Bolton in what was their 15th game without scoring this season. This drew them level with Southampton as having played the most games without scoring this term and now they face the league’s tightest defence. Arsenal have conceded just nine times in 16 Premiership away games this term although they have only managed three clean sheets at White Hart Lane in Premiership history.
While most attention on Sunday is likely to centre around Thierry Henry, it is Robert Pires who Spurs should perhaps be more wary of. The Frenchman is not only the Premiership’s highest scoring midfielder this term but he also has an excellent record against Tottenham. Pires has scored in each of his last five starts against Spurs in all competitions
Perhaps the most likely result on Sunday is a draw as has happened all to often in this fixture previously. There have been ten drawn games between the two sides in Premiership history, meaning Arsenal have drawn against Spurs more times than against any other side.
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|Shooting accuracy %||43%||51%|
|Pass completion %||73%||80%|
|Cross completion %||21%||21%|
|Tackles won %||70%||74%|