Monday 11 December 2017

Tottenham could confirm finishing above Arsenal with victory in the north London derby

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino . Photo: PA
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino . Photo: PA

Jack Austin

Tottenham will end the annual St Totteringham’s Day tradition for the first time in 22 years by beating Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday, April 30.

Following the Gunners’ drab and dismal display against relegation candidates Crystal Palace – and after Spurs’ 4-0 win over Watford – the gap between the two north London rivals grew to 14 points.

Arsenal still have a game in hand over Mauricio Pochettino’s side, but will not play it before the two sides clash at White Hart Lane – for possibly the final time, depending on the situation with Spurs’ new stadium.

Both Spurs and Arsenal have two Premier League games to play before they come to a head at the end of April, with the Gunners facing Middlesbrough and Leicester, while Tottenham face Bournemouth and Palace.

Assuming both sides win their two games – which is far from a given considering Arsenal’s current form – then a win for Spurs in the derby will extend the gap to 17 points, with Arsene Wenger’s men having only five games remaining, and a total of 15 points to play for.

It would be the first time in Wenger’s tenure that he has finished behind Spurs and the first time it has happened at all since the 1994/95 season.

Back then a Jurgen Klinsmann-inspired Tottenham held them finish above George Graham’s Arsenal, while Wenger was still in charge of Monaco and a 22-year-old Pochettino had just signed for Espanyol.

It appeared like last year would be the year Tottenham finally ended the run, only to lose 5-1 to already-relegated Newcastle on the final day of last season.

Surely even Spurs can’t blow it this time, and confirming it with victory over the Gunners will make it all the sweeter.

Independent News Service

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