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Spurs Odyssey Preview - Arsenal v Spurs, 18.11.17

Last season's game - Arsenal 1 Spurs 1, 06.11.16
This week - last year
What happened in the Premier League on Matchday 2016-17

See the current injury list for all Premier League Teams
All the Spurs Stats you could hope for here! THFC6061 Sports Stats

Full Record of Spurs -v- Arsenal
Prem          Pl  W   D   L  For-Ag  Pts
Home          25  9  11   5  36 -33  38
Away          25  2  10  13  25 -47  16
Total(Prem)   50 11  21  18  61 -80  54
Football Lge
Home(Div 1)   55 24  12  19  93 -83  63
Away(Div 1)   55 16  12  27  65 -85  46
Total(Div 1) 110 40  24  46 158 -168 109
Total(Prem)   50 11  21  18  61 -80  54
Total(Div 1) 110 40  24  46 158 -168 109
Grand Total  160 51  45  64 219 -248 163

Last Six Premier League results:-

Arsenal    -    WWLWWL

Arsenal    2-0    West Brom
Arsenal    2-0    Brighton
Watford    2-1    Arsenal
Everton    2-5    Arsenal
Arsenal    2-1    Swansea
Man City   3-1    Arsenal

Spurs      -    WWWWLW

West Ham   2-3    Spurs
Hds'field  0-4    Spurs
Spurs      1-0    B'mouth
Spurs      4-1    Liverpool
Man Utd    1-0    Spurs
Spurs      1-0    C. Palace

Pos           P  W  D  L   F-A   GD  Pts
3. Spurs     11  7  2  2  20-7   13   23
6. Arsenal   11  6  1  4  20-16   4   19

It's November, so we must be playing Arsenal!

The final International break of 2017 has gone. Remembrance Day has been observed, but one seemingly regular November fixture remains. For the third year in a row (it seems like more), Spurs face an away game against their nearest and bitter rivals who are loosely referred to as "North London" side. Spurs fans know the truth, of course. For those who need reminding of some of the unfortunate aspects of our history with our "local" rivals, this Norman Giller article includes the detail.

With our 2-0 home win in April this year, Spurs ensured they would finish a season above an Arsene Wenger team for the first time, and above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years. The icing on the cake, of course, came when we secured Champions League football, whereas Arsenal had to settle for Europa League football. "Tottenham in The Bernebeu, Wenger watching Emmerdale" has been a popular chant this season, and I am sure will be heard tomorrow!

We've not been beaten in a Premier League game against Arsenal in 6 consecutive games, which of course includes the last three games at their place. Those games have all been drawn. Last year's game finished 1-1. Arsenal took a first half lead when Kevin Wimmer's attempted diving header clearance hit the Spurs net, but Harry Kane restored order with a 51st minute penalty. Harry was returning to action after a 6 week absence, and we are hopimg to see him tomorrow, of course. This game was also of interest because Pochettino played three at the back (perhaps for the first time from the start of a Spurs game), having seen Conte's Chelsea utilising the system so effectively. Now, "three at the back" is becoming almost a template for Spurs, and many teams, including England. Arsene Wenger took longer to introduce the system, and I am not sure that Arsenal are comfortable with the scheme even now.

There was great news for Spurs fans yesterday with the news that Hugo Lloris, his deputy Michel Vorm, Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks all returned to full training. Hopefully that means they will all be available for selection tomorrow and on Tuesday in Dortmund for our Champions League Matchday 5 game. One quirk of the UEFA fixture list is that we will be flying out of Germany just as Arsenal and their fans fly in for their Thursday night game in Cologne, just down the road from Dortmund! I hope our paths don't cross:)

There was bad news for Spurs fans though with the knowledge that Toby Alderweireld's hamstring injury is likely to keep him out of action until after Christmas. Victor Wanyama is also still not ready to play despite returning to training during the International break.

Olivier Giroud will be absent for Arsenal, with an expected return date of 23rd November (their Europa League match), following a knee injury. Giroud scored for France in their 2-0 friendly win over Wales last week, but he has yet to start a Premier League game this season in any case.

One player Arsenal have possibly missed more than any is midfielder Santi Cazorla, who hasn't played since October last year with injuries that Arsene Wenger has described as "the worst " he has ever know. Wenger admits that the influential player might never play again, whilst Cazorla himself insists that he is determined to again kick a ball in anger . The 32 year old Spanish International needed a skin graft on his right arm; lost 8 centimetres of tendon from his right foot, and apparently came close to amputation. Cazorla has generally been a thorn in Spurs' side when he has played against us, and perhaps his absence has had a great deal to do with the "Gooners"' relative decline.

There has been much publicity this year about the state of Arsenal and their manager, but he did get a new 2 year contract this summer which did not please all those of that persuasion. Oxlade-Chamberlain went to Liverpool and Sanchez and Ozil are out of contract next summer, with Sanchez rumoured to be going to Man City in January.

One player who will be returning to Premier League action in great spirits is of course Christian Eriksen, who was Denmark's hat-trick hero in their World Cup play-off slaughter of The Republic of Ireland on Tuesday night. Eriksen has scored 11 goals already this season, 7 of which have been for his country. In fact in the UEFA qualifying stages, only Lewandowski and Ronaldo have scored more goals that Eriksen's total of 11. Even Harry Kane has scored just 5 in the same stages. Whilst Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez has also scored highly (7 goals) in the South American group, he is one of several top class players who will not be seen in Russia next summer, as Chile failed to qualify. Davinson Sanchez's Colombia did qualify.

More heroics from Eriksen, or indeed any one or more of our stars would be great. A second win at The Emirates would be fantastic, and would put us seven points clear of our enemy after only 12 games. The only other win for Spurs here was seven years ago this weekend, when Gareth Bale, Rafa van der Vaart (penalty) and Younes Kaboul goals secured us all three points. However, we all know it won't be an easy game. I think goals will be at a premium (I'd love to be wrong here!), and that the most likely result is another draw - 1-1.

Match referee Mike Dean is accused by some of having a soft spot for Spurs. Mr. Dean has taken charge of seven previous North London Derby games. The last of these was in March 2014 at White Hart Lane, which was also the last time Arsenal beat is in a League game. Already this season this will be the third time Mr. Dean has been in charge of us. The previous two occasions have not been the happiest, as we only drew at home to Swansea and lost in the League Cup game against West Ham. So much for alleged favouring of Spurs!

Spurs' record in recent London Derby matches

"It was Twenty Years ago today!" - Match by match review of the (almost) disastrous 1997-98 season.

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