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Tottenham v Arsenal Preview: Everything’s On The Line

Photo by Ronnie Macdonald

After Manchester United’s 0-0 draw yesterday up at St James’ Park in Newcastle, some Arsenal supporters are beginning to believe again that the Gunners can actually win the Premier League title. But instead of putting a title win in the hands of whether United can win or lose, it’s about time that Arsenal puts destiny into their own hands by recording an emphatic win today against their arch-enemy Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. And then continue to move on from there and win their remaining games in the league (one of which is against Manchester United on May 1).

Arsenal needs a win today in a massive way against their neighbors. Tottenham has grabbed most of the headlines in North London this season with a successful Champions League run as well as Gareth Bale being named PFA Player Of The Year. But it’s about time that Arsenal shows what they’re really made of today by winning on Tottenham’s own patch. Arsenal has the better side, plays better football and has been more consistent this season (despite their mental lapses). Plus they have their own PFA Young Player of the Year in Jack Wilshere. On top of all that, Arsenal has virtually a full-strength side to choose from. Bacary Sagna is back from injury. So too is Manuel Almunia and Denilson. Thomas Vermaelen is back, too, but Wenger has decided that the Belgian defender needs more time to build up his sharpness after being out with a long term injury.

For Tottenham, Peter Crouch and Steven Pienaar have returned from injury and are available for selection tonight. Wilson Palacios and Alan Hutton are out injured. But Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate are back from injury but Harry Redknapp may decide that tonight is too early to bring them back as they’ll need a few days to build up their sharpness.

So, Arsenal has no excuse tonight not to win. It’s not going to be easy, but they know what they need to do and they have a fully fit side with which to accomplish the win. Tottenham, meanwhile, will be desperate for a win so they can move into joint fourth. It’s just as massive a match for them as it is for Arsenal, for different reasons. But whatever happens, this is one of the most famous derbies in English football. And during derbies, anything can happen. Expect the atmosphere to be at a fever pitch with both sides having points to prove.

One more thing. Tonight will decide this season’s bragging rights in North London. Tottenham Hotspur won at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season. So tonight will be a big factor in deciding whether Spurs will have the edge over Arsenal, or if Arsenal can beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane to share the season’s spoils.

But who do you think will win? Vote in the poll below and share your opinion in the comments section below.

[polldaddy poll=4945227]

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  1. Gareth van der Lennon

    April 20, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Crackin Match.
    You didnt enjoy that you dont like footy.

    3-1 and you……

  2. R2Dad

    April 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Total crap, that last goal. If Szczeny wants to be considered a top #1 he’s going to have to stop making rookie mistakes like that. The ball was not on goal, so there was no need to go to ground to take out the attacker. He deserved a yellow, and a smack upside the head for giving away 2 points. Better to give them up in the run of play and make your opponent earn it. Every time MU gives Arsenal a lifeline they refuse to take it. Too bad their May 1 match is not important.

    • Joe Fitzmaurrice

      April 20, 2011 at 6:03 pm

      feel ur pain man. Not gona pretend I giv a shit abou da gooners but dat was a hell of an excitn game tonite but a terrible result for both sides. I almost had a heart attack wachn. tink I’l hav to stop wachn these games, I had 2 smokes on de go at one stage. gona hav to go tru all this all ovr again agnst, chelsea, pool and city. gona hav 2 take som valium.

  3. Dakota

    April 20, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Ah man, I have no idea who will win either..Spurs or Arsenal. You’d like to think Tottenham has the edge being on home field and all, but still. Arsenal could pull through. Wenger needs to be smart with his player lineup and the team needs to bring it. Like it was said, they know what they have to do and how to do it, its just a matter of what happens out on the field. I think they can do it!!

    • MennoDaddy

      April 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm

      You realize the game ended 30 minutes ago, right?

  4. keanu

    April 20, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    arsenal can do it if wenger chooses he starting line up wisely and no just putting the best players on the starting line up.

  5. Terry

    April 20, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    It’s going to be hard for Arsenal to bounce back from their devastating draw with Liverpool. The manner of that draw is going to be hard for them to shake so quickly. Also, Spurs have had lots more time to prepare as they didn’t play at the weekend. Even though United’s draw yesterday has given Arsenal a lifeline to get back into the title challenge I just don’t see Arsenal winning this one. Some of the comments from Fabregas about Arsenal’s desire to win and how Wenger would have been fired if he were coaching in Spain won’t help. Everyone needs to be on the same page and I’m afraid Arsenal are not there right now. Spurs should win this one especially since they are at home.

  6. Moe

    April 20, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I’m still waiting for Spurs to release the Real Mardid DVD haha. How many years since Spurs won the league? Ohyeah, your wheeler and dealer coach is a crook

  7. Alex

    April 20, 2011 at 11:44 am

    People need to remember that Spurs put 3 passed Arsenal earlier this season when Arsenal had the central defensive pairing of Squillaci and Koscielny.

    Arsenal are much more solid at the back when Djourou plays, they’re unbeaten in their last 31 Premier League games he’s played for Arsenal.

    I’ll go 3-1 to Arsenal with Nasri getting himself back on the scoresheet.

    • Alex

      April 20, 2011 at 11:48 am

      Note: Djourou’s unbeaten run in the league is now 32 games.

  8. [OPTI] Madschester United

    April 20, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I can’t figure out which team is going to buckle first under pressure of this game. Can Spurs handle pressure of finishing first and can Arsenal handle pressure of going back into title race?

    What an amazing season!!!

    • Daniel

      April 20, 2011 at 11:32 am

      Finishing first in what?

      • [OPTI] Madschester United

        April 20, 2011 at 11:33 am

        Hahahaha… whoops… first = fourth for Spurs 😉

        • Alex

          April 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

          Haha! I think City will beat them to it this season.

  9. Evan

    April 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Since when are there so many Spurs fans??
    Anyway, as a Man City supporter I’m really hoping for an Arsenal win. Spurs are shite and always have been. No reason for that to change now.

    • Joe Fitzmaurrice

      April 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      ya u ar rite, spurs can b shite, but coming from a city fan, thats great, ur def a comedian.

  10. Joe Fitzmaurrice

    April 20, 2011 at 9:36 am

    jus hope we dont giv dem a 2 goal start dis time. have we got a homer ref tonite does anyone know? want 3 points, dont care how we get them although wud like to b 5 up by half time to save biting me fingers to de stumps in last 15 min, not 2 mention poor Arry twitching himself 2 death. jesus dont europa crap nxt seas

    • Evan

      April 20, 2011 at 11:00 am


  11. MennoDaddy

    April 20, 2011 at 9:10 am

    GOD, I love this fixture. I have no idea what’s going to happen here, though I’d like to think Spurs have an edge due to home field advantage.

    This is a massive, massive game for both clubs and is an absolute must-win if Spurs have any chance to make the top 4 again this season.


  12. Christian

    April 20, 2011 at 8:42 am

    C’mon Gaffer, you know Arsenal will figure a way to drop points here no matter what. After last weeks implosion against Liverpool I’m still laughing that I ever thought the Gunners were a real threat to United. Go Spurs!!!

  13. Joe Fitzmaurrice

    April 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I am a nervous spurs fan. I dont know who is going to win. I hope the crowd give it loads n help us get 3 points. This is one of the most important derbys ever. Getting the points n playing CL again is top priorty if we are to hold on to best players and attract more. This game is massive. Just hope de strikers take their chances. Also hope Defoe is not selected. Tonight is a must win game, Pavvy to score n get man of the match.

  14. tommy sunshine

    April 20, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Given this site is full of cloudy revelations, once again it falls to Sunshine to set the record straight. Happy to oblige, gaffer.
    FACT: Tottenham under Harry Redknapp have a superior league record in head-to-heads against Arsenal.
    FACT: Arsenal are clearly not going to win the league so in the event they do win, it will be merely consolation
    FACT: Tottenham are morally superior to Arsenal. We once fired a manager for paying for sex. At Arsenal, the boss would have handed the prostitute’s phone number down to his players.
    Empirical evidence has also demonstrated that our fans are kinder, more fulfilled individuals.

    • Jaime

      April 20, 2011 at 9:46 am

      I think I can live with Tottenham being “Morally superior” to Arsenal hahahaha what a load of rubbish.. And tottenham fans are kinder and more fulfilled? Youve obviously never been to north london mate. You show me a kinder more fulfilled Spurs fan, Ill show you a MLS team thats won the EPL title. You may have recent success over Arsenal sure but bruv you can have that. Read up on your history mate tell me who the better side is!

    • Jaime

      April 20, 2011 at 9:53 am

      And in case its all slipped your mind:

    • Daniel

      April 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

      “Tottenham are morally superior to Arsenal.”

      With that twitching tax avoiding fraud as your manager? Hilarious!

  15. charles

    April 20, 2011 at 7:43 am

    What a load of Bull…Arsenal are the better side?? If Tottenham had claimed the points from the sides in the lower half of the league they would be TOP.In my opinion Spurs have a “star studded”side that has not quiet clicked in all their league games.When they have a full squad and decide to play they are by far the best team to watch in Europe. Win or lose,anyone that watches Spurs will get there monies worth.Continue to entertain the neutral fans of the world.

    • Sean

      April 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

      “What a load of Bull…Arsenal are the better side??”

      And if Arsenal replaced two of the four draws they have had in their last five matches with wins they would be one point behind Manchester United with a game in hand. In other words, what is your point?

      While living in a fantasy world is nice, the league table does not lie. Right now Arsenal is ten points above Spurs (though Spurs do have a game in hand). Thus, up until this point of the season, Arsenal have been the better side.

      “When they have a full squad and decide to play they are by far the best team to watch in Europe.”

      Yeah, something tells me I would still prefer to watch Barcelona click on all cylinders over watching a Spurs side play at its best.

  16. British

    April 20, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I think Totthenham has a slight edge on Arsenal. I expect Spurs to win their home game tonight and demolish the Gunners’ hopes of winning the title. Arsenal have not been very convincing lately.

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