It’s derby time in London, umm, North London, to be more specific as Tottenham host Arsenal in the Premier League. A North London derby where the Lilywhites are the slight favourites.
First up, the match is happening at the Wembley Stadium. No, it is not because this is a cup semi-final or final. This is because Tottenham’s new home stadium is still under construction.
The venue change seems to a blessing in disguise for Arsenal, the designated away side. The Gunners’ away record this season has been appalling to say the least. Just three wins from 13 games is not what is needed for a title-challenger. Arsene Wenger’s side has dropped a whopping 26 points in away games, out of a possible 39. This has been the primary reason why they are contending for fourth place, instead of gunning for the title.
The equation, however, changes with Arsenal’s record at Wembley. Since the 2-1 defeat to Birmingham City in the 2011 League Cup final, Arsenal have won 10 straight games at Wembley.
This gives Tottenham a bigger headache to take care of, as their opponents seem to be more inspired at the venue. Tottenham also lost 2-0 to their biggest rivals in the reverse fixture, earlier this season. Along with that, the designated visitors destroyed Everton 5-1 in their last match. Arsenal will be looking to continue in the same vein.
Still, Tottenham has been the better side and possess a strong defensive unit spearheaded by Jan Vertonghen. Spurs have a top 5 defence in the league, having conceded only 24 goals. They too have a solid record at their makeshift home this season (W8, D4, L1).