The north London derby this Sunday could possibly be the most important and significant in Premier League history.
This fixture has been dominated by Arsenal in recent years, who at times have been unmerciful in delivering continuous blows to Tottenham's ambitions and efforts - they appear to have a stranglehold over their rivals.
There have been glimmers of hope for Tottenham that this status quo could be broken, and that Spurs could finally push on and become the dominant force within north London. But this has alluded them thus far.
There have been numerous derbies in which Tottenham have played well in, but there has always been something that has stood in the way to stop them winning the game and breaking down that barrier - this season's reverse fixture as case in point.
Tottenham started the match with the bravery and confidence that you would expect and in the early part of the game, they over-ran the Arsenal team and completely dominated. Tottenham scored with a well-deserved goal which came courtesy of Emmanuel Adebayor, and the Gunners appeared to be out of sorts and lacked any rhythm or cohesion.
Then, disaster struck. In the 17th minute, Adebayor went from hero to villain as he was sent off for an inexplicable lunge at Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla. Despite their best efforts after being reduced to 10-men, Tottenham seemed to lose ground, Arsenal gained the upper hand and went on to comfortably win 5-2.
The tide is beginning to turn in north London
There is a difference between the teams now - ever since Andre Villas-Boas' side suffered defeat at the Emirates, Tottenham appear to have gelled as a tea and as a unit. They have an understanding and look as united as ever.
From the front to the back they work together to get the job done, they no longer rely on plan A, they appear to be set for all eventualities. Tottenham are now garnishing a reputation for being mean in defence and frightening in attack.
Arsenal, on the other hand, appear to be having an inconsistent season. They have flashes of pure brilliance in one match, but this is followed up by an inept performance that is as lacklustre as it is underwhelming.
The inspiration that used to flow freely from Arsene Wenger to guide his team now appears to be running dry and this is showing in the team's confidence and performances. This negativity has now spilled into the stadium and onto the once loyal fans, where there are constant rumours of unrest, and Wenger's future has been brought into question.
Coming into this Sunday's derby, Tottenham are four points clear of Arsenal in 3rd place in the Premier League. A win for Tottenham would take them seven points clear with 10 games left, and a win for Arsenal would narrow the gap to a solitary point.
Tottenham are the team in better form at the present, With Gareth Bale scoring for fun,they have gone 11 matches unbeaten up to this match, whereas Arsenal seem unable to string decent results together for more than 2 matches.
This is all set-up now for a showdown of the highest order, the ramifications of either team winning could impact the losing team’s season significantly.
Can Tottenham finally end the apparent hoo-doo and play the style of football that we have come to expect? Can Gareth Bale keep up his amazing scoring run?
Can Arsenal turn on the style and repeat their dominance and get their turbulent season back on track? By 6pm on Sunday night, all these answers, we shall know.
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