No team in the Premier League seems capable of putting together a series of positive results. Just when someone looks like they will pull away from their rivals a surprise result springs up. Tottenham need to take advantage and there would be no better time or place than on Saturday afternoon at the home of their rivals.
April’s 2-1 win over Arsenal was the lilywhite’s first league win over their great rivals since 1999 when Steffen Iversen and Tim Sherwood scored, also in a 2-1 win. However, as seems to be the case with every team Spurs play away from home, you have to go even further back in time to find the last away win at Arsenal, 1993 in fact.
Seventh placed Spurs’ away record to the top English teams is, in general, very poor. Nevertheless, Saturday’s game may be Tottenham’s best chance in years to get three points at the Emirates.
The men from Woolwich have been beaten at home by two promoted sides this season in Newcastle and West Brom. If Harry Redknapp’s side can reproduce the type of intense performance that they showed against Internazionale then they will stand a fair chance of picking up all three points.
Tom Huddlestone’s ankle surgery has added yet another name to the growing injury list, but Spurs have plenty of cover in central midfield. Redknapp will surely revert back to his 4-4-1-1 formation, with player of the month Rafael van der Vaart playing in the hole behind Peter Crouch or Roman Pavlyuchenko.
With Welsh dynamo Gareth Bale operating on the left, and Luka Modric pulling strings in midfield, Tottenham will present an offensive threat, but the porous defence needs to tighten up. Without a clean sheet in the league since the opening day of the season, Spurs will struggle to outscore a Gunners side that can be lethal on the break.
If Spurs do win not only will they put a dent in their rival’s title challenge, but they will also add pressure on Manchester City in the race for fourth place. With Werder Bremen midweek in the Champions League, then a visit from Liverpool the following weekend, a Tottenham win would raise morale at a critical time of the season.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.