By Habeeb Kuranga
The table toppers, Arsenal will be visiting Tottenham Hotspur in the final fixture of Matchday 20 in the English Premier League. Fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur will be hosting the league leaders, Arsenal in what is going to be the 193rd North London derby.
The Gunners will be hoping to extend their lead at the top of the pile to 8 points as their closest challenger, Manchester City was beaten by Manchester United in the Manchester derby on Saturday.
Tottenham on the hand will be looking to get their revenge after they were gazumped at the Emirates Stadium in the reverse fixture sometime in October and subsequently get into the top 4 – if Newcastle United are beaten by Fulham.
Here is what to expect in one of the most entertaining derbies in Europe.
This fixture is going to be the 61st in the EPL. With Arsenal winning 23, Tottenham Hotspur with 15 wins against their neighbours while 23 have ended in draws.
Arsenal will be aiming to complete a league double over their rivals for the first time since the 2013/14 season when the visitors won both legs by a single goal to nothing.
Spurs have only failed to score in one of their last 17 EPL games against Arsenal, they only failed to find the back of the net in their 2-0 loss in November 2017.
Currently fifth on the log, the Lilywhites will be vying to win four consecutive home league matches against the Gunners for the very first time.
Tottenham has scored 27 of their 37 Premier League goals in the second half of matches this season, more than any other team. Interestingly, they have scored just once in the first half of their past 13 fixtures in all competitions. That was Harry Kane’s goal versus Leeds United in November.
Antonio Conte has won only two of his 10 matches as a manager against Arsenal (D4, L4).
Arsenal has won all six of their top-flight London derbies this season, keeping a clean sheet in all three away games.
The Gunners are vying to win seven successive Premier League London derbies for the first time since the 2007-08 season.
Mikel Arteta has managed Arsenal in six north London derbies with a record of three home wins and three away defeats.
Since the beginning of the season, Tottenham Hotspur talisman, Harry Kane has scored 41 per cent of his side’s PL goals. Only Erling Haaland (47 per cent) has gotten more for his side than him.
Kane could achieve two feats if he scores a brace in the showpiece event on Sunday. He could become the all-time top goalscorer for Tottenham Hotspur. He is just one goal behind the great Jimmy Greaves who plundered 266 goals for the Spurs during his illustrious career. Kane could also become only the third player in EPL history to score 200+ goals after Alan Shearer and Wayne Rooney.
Kane could also extend his goalscoring form against the Gunners as he has already scored 14 goals in 18 appearances against them – the most of any player in the history of this derby.
Tottenham Hotspur’s possible starting XI: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Lenglet; Doherty, Bissouma, Højbjerg, Perisic; Kulusevski, Kane, Son
Arsenal’s possible starting XI: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Ødegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah