Notebook - Arsenal v Spurs
Sat 25 September 2021, 13:00|Tottenham Hotspur
On Sunday, we make the short trip south to N5 for the first north London derby of the season (4.30pm kick-off).
1 - Nuno’s north London derby ‘debut’
Nuno Espirito Santo will lead us into a north London derby for the first time this Sunday. While, of course, he was in charge for our 1-0 Mind Series win over the Gunners in pre-season, this weekend Nuno will get his first taste of derby not only as a competitive fixture, but also with both sets of supporters in attendance. For us to come away from the Emirates with three points on Sunday, our Portuguese Head Coach will have to break an historic trend for Spurs managers debuting in this fixture as just one of our last 10 coaches have won their first top-flight meeting with Arsenal.
2 - Sunday dreaming
Away trips on a Sunday have been relatively profitable for us in recent memory. In our last 18 games away from home on the final day of the week, we have lost just three times, winning nine and drawing four. We are also unbeaten in our last four such games, winning three and drawing the other. Our last away win in the Premier League came on a Sunday against Wolves last month as a Dele penalty sealed all three points at Molineux.
3 - Nuno’s impressive Gunners’ record
Nuno Espirito Santo has just lost one of his six competitive encounters with Arsenal as a coach. Having faced the Gunners six times during his three Premier League seasons in charge of Wolves, Nuno holds a record of played six, won three, drawn two and lost one. In three trips to the Emirates, he is yet to lose, picking up two draws as well as a 2-1 win on his last visit to N5 back in November, 2020.
4 - That Emirates record
Our record over the years at the Emirates is well documented. Since Arsenal moved to their new home in N5, we have visited 19 times and come out on top just twice with six draws between the sides. The first of those two victories came in November, 2010, as we produced a remarkable comeback, winning 3-2 through a late Younes Kaboul header having been 2-0 down. The second came in December, 2018, as a strike from Heung-Min Son as well as a stunning chipped finish from Dele saw us triumph 2-0 in the League Cup quarter-finals.
5 - A changing of the guard at Arsenal
So far this season, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has shown the flexibility and options he has within his squad as he has used the most different players in the Premier League - 26. It suggests there may be more changes for the Gunners when we meet on Sunday, while you can also expect the men in red to have a youthful side out with them averaging the youngest starting XI (24 years 328 days) in the competition this term.
6 - A turning tide
Despite difficulties at the Emirates, in recent years, the tide has turned in this fixture. Having been unable to produce a league win over the Gunners in the first decade of the century, we have enjoyed the last seven years against our oldest rivals. Since the start of the 2014/15 season, we have faced the Gunners 14 times in the Premier League and have come away with six wins and six draws.
7 - Team news
Nuno confirmed on Friday that Lucas Moura is back in contention ahead of the clash with Arsenal. The forward has been out of action since picking up a knock in our Europa Conference League opener against Stade Rennais but, having missed our recent encounters with Chelsea and Wolves, he is back fit and will be available for selection at the Emirates. However, Steven Bergwijn and Ryan Sessegnon both remain out.
8 - Nuno: “It’s a special game”
Nuno Espirito Santo is well aware of the importance of the north London derby - and he is determined to see us come out on top on Sunday.
“It's not another game. It's a special game. A special game for us, a special game for our fans. It's going to be a tough match but no doubt, it's a different game,” he stated in his pre-match press conference. “We expect a tough match and for us, we have to compete, we have to play and compete well; give everything that we can and play good. Playing good is finding the right balance in our game. There are improvements to be made but there are a lot of positives that we take from the previous games.
“(Arsenal have) a good team. What we look at is now. Good and talented, quality players in the squad. We expect a tough match. Recent weeks (they have had) better results, this is the assessment we make. We have to try and get the right info to the players to deliver.”
9 - Can Harry stretch his record?
Harry Kane goes into Sunday's clash as the record goalscorer in the north London derby with 11 goals, having overtaken all-time great Bobby Smith last season.
Here are the top derby marksmen...
11 - Harry Kane
10 - Bobby Smith (both Spurs), Emmanuel Adebayor (8 for Arsenal, 2 for Spurs)
8 - Robert Pires, Alan Sunderland (both Arsenal)
7 - Alan Gilzean, Jimmy Greaves (both Spurs), David Herd, John Radford (both Arsenal)
10 - Arteta ahead of ‘emotional’ game
Arsenal Head Coach Mikel Arteta is expecting an emotionally-charged encounter on Sunday.
“It’s the most special game of the season at home, that’s for sure,” he explained in his pre-match press conference. “It’s a London derby. Emotionally it’s a different one to play and we know how much it means for our supporters as well. The history between the two clubs and where this rivalry comes from and what it means emotionally to all of our supporters. You have to play that game with slightly different skin because there is a little bit more at stake.”