A hostile atmosphere awaits Arsenal on Saturday at White Hart Lane as the spurs fans will look to upset the Gunners with every trick they know, while heavily backing their team, but Wenger says his players will go there to repeat last year’s results there, regardless of who’ll be in the stands.
Tottenham have been in something of a rich vein of form at home in the League recently, without a defeat in their last six at the Lane but having got a result there before, home advantage is not something the Arsenal boss expects to give any side a favour.
“In the derbies the home ground is not too significant sometimes because it’s a high commitment, high pace and we just focus on the quality of our game and our performance no matter where we play. We’ll do the same tomorrow.” Wenger said.
“Of course [the derby is special] because the two teams are fighting very hard to be at the top of the league. It can be a spectacular game.”
Last September’s meeting at the Emirates will seem to give weight to Wenger’s claim as Spurs took the lead in the game, pushing Arsenal all the way towards the last 15 before conceding an equalizer. Both clubs have had a similar run of highs and lows this season, and the fact that it will be a fifth-versus-sixth duel just about summarizes what to expect in terms of intensity, passion and desire for results.
The North London derby has been more closely contested in recent years and this particular encounter, should prove a good test for both sides about their ambitions to play in the Champions League next season and while there will be 14 more games to gain points from, neither team would want to yield any more ground to the other at this stage.
Even without Alexis, scoring goals doesn’t look like it will be a problem for Arsenal but against the threat of their topscorers in Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen, Wenger knows his team will have to keep a solid defensive shape that got a magnificent win over a star studded City attacking line and is on the side of optimism that his players will prove themselves.
“We have another good test tomorrow on that aspect of our game. After all, football is fragile when you have not got confidence.”
“When you have positive results behind you it makes everybody stronger and we have also recovered nearly all our defenders now, and that is of course important.”
A win over Tottenham will take Arsenal five clear and into the top four for the time being, putting pressure on Southampton and United who will be in London to face QPR and West Ham respectively.
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