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Tottenham v Arsenal - Head-to-Head

Posted on 16 November 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Dean Richards Sol Campbell
APPEARANCES
Minutes on pitch 450 552
GOAL ATTEMPTS
Goals 1 0
DEFENDING
Blocks 7 3
Headed Clearances 31 31
Other Clearances 17 19
Interceptions 3 5
Tackles Won 12 6
PASSING
Passing Accuracy % 74% 86%
DISCIPLINE
Fouls 5 11
Yellow Cards 0 0
Red Cards 0 0
OPTA INDEX SCORE 939 782
First Goalscorer Odds 33/1 40/1
Secure, tax-free online betting with www.SPURSbet.co.uk
Dean Richards
Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell was declared fit earlier this week but if takes his place in the Arsenal defence will only be revealed when Arsene Wenger hands in his team sheet on Saturday afternoon.

The England defender was struggling with a hamstring injury of last week's friendly with Sweden and there was rumours that Wenger may decide to spare him from what is sure to be a testing afternoon for him and give him some rest before Wednesday's Champions League trip to Deportivo La Coruna. But it is appearing increasingly likely that he will play and it is sure to be a real testing afternoon for him.

Not just from Tottenham strikers Les Ferdinand and Teddy Sheringham, but Campbell can expect to receive one of the most hostile receptions ever reserved for a visiting player.

Just in the same way that former Barcelona star Luis Figo was treated when he returned to the Nou Camp with sworn enemies Real Madrid last season Campbell can expect a very similar negative response from the home supporters. The Spurs fans who used to hero-worship him as they watched the Londoner progress from a gangly teenage striker into one of the world's best defenders, are understandably feeling betrayed at his decision to join their bitter rivals in the summer.

Add to the fact that their former captain joined Arsenal on a free transfer, and it is not hard to see why amongst other things the home fans have decided to organise is a symbolic protest that will involve turning their backs towards the pitch when he emerges from the tunnel.

But Campbell is not one to shirk away from anything, and if selected is sure to give his very best in his first north London derby on the other side of fence. He has yet to find his best form since his transfer and what better way to show the Gunners what he is capable of, than by doing it at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

His replacement at Spurs, Dean Richards has done well since his £8 million arrival in September, the former Southampton defender had a big task in stepping into Campbell's shoes, but his partnership with Ledley King and Chris Perry has been quite impressive.

In his five appearances to date, Richards has won twice as many tackles as the man he replaced and overall for both Spurs and Southampton his 50 headed clearances is considerably more than Campbell.

Nevertheless, Campbell is more adept at distributing the ball more accurately with 86% of his passes finding a team-mate compared to Richards 74%. While all the focus may be on the Arsenal man, it will be a strange atmosphere for Richards to make his mark in his first north London derby but if he wants to push his claim for a spot in the England squad, then these are the sort of games he needs to excel in.

Both 27-year-old defenders are sure to play a key role in deciding the outcome of this usually bitter contest between two great rivals, but with the Gunners needing to close the gap on Leeds, it is a game in which they can't afford to lose.

Benji Romaner