186th north London derby: Arsenal vs. Tottenham
- What: Premier League matchweek four
- When: Sunday 1 September 2019
- Where: Emirates Stadium, London
- Kick-off time: 4.30pm (BST)
- TV coverage: live on Sky Sports
The first north London derby of the season takes place on Sunday with Arsenal hosting rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium.
Last season Spurs finished just a point ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League table and the two teams will likely be evenly matched again this term.
In the 2018-19 EPL fixtures Arsenal beat Spurs 4-2 at the Emirates but the teams played out a 1-1 draw at Wembley. In the League Cup quarter-finals Spurs won 2-0 away from home.
After three league matches this season Arsenal have six points while Spurs have four. Last weekend the Gunners lost 3-1 at Liverpool and Tottenham were beaten 1-0 at home by Newcastle. Sunday’s derby gives both clubs the chance to bounce back in style.
Attacking line-ups could be what makes the difference. Arsenal may opt for a front three of Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe, while Spurs could select Christian Eriksen to supply the ammunition for Son Heung-min and Harry Kane.
Here we look at the predictions, history and key stats ahead of Sunday’s huge Premier League clash.
Predictions: who will rule north London?
Charlie Nicholas, Sky Sports: Arsenal 4 Spurs 2
“You need to go into these games with the best attackers. I would always play Lacazette through the middle, Pepe on the right and Aubameyang on the left. Tottenham are nervous at the moment and mistakes always come from these matches. [Dani] Ceballos needs to be closer to the front three too.”
BT Sport: Arsenal 2 Spurs 2
In its pre-season preview The Script broadcaster BT Sport predicted two close games between Arsenal and Tottenham. BT predicts a 2-2 draw at the Emirates and 1-1 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport: Arsenal 1 Spurs 1
“What has happened to Tottenham? They are there with four points but they were totally unconvincing against Newcastle. I thought they [Arsenal] were naive against Liverpool and I am sorry but a defence with David Luiz in it isn’t going to get you top three. The situation with Christian Eriksen is also very interesting. [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy, you would argue, has come out on top of every deal he has done but this looks like one he will lose out on.”
Harry Edwards, Squawka: Arsenal 1 Spurs 2
“North London derbies have been split quite evenly over recent years, with both sides enjoying wins. As well as that, both teams had some weaknesses exposed in defeats last time out, but Arsenal may be slightly more worried about which David Luiz turns up. If he’s not on his game, the Brazilian will be given the run around by Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.”
Paul Merson, Sky Sports: Arsenal 4 Spurs 1
“I think Arsenal will win the game quite comfortably, 4-1. I think they will rip Tottenham to shreds. Spurs are struggling at the moment and if Arsenal get going then they could score a few.”
Tom Doyle, London Evening Standard: Arsenal 1 Spurs 1
“Arsenal’s first dropped points of the campaign have taken some of the wind out of [Unai] Emery’s sails, and while his attack shows plenty of promise, they have scored just four goals in three games – fewer than the likes of Burnley and Norwich. Spurs have struggled to break teams down this season, with a gritty 3-1 home win over Aston Villa hinting at the problems which exposed themselves once more against Newcastle. Sunday’s match should be a cagey contest, but a draw is the most likely outcome. Tottenham will want Arsenal to have plenty of the ball and then hit Emery’s men on the break – and Arsenal will want the same thing of Spurs.”
North London derby: the key statistics
- Total fixtures: 185
- Arsenal wins: 77
- Tottenham wins: 58
- Draws: 50
- First meeting: 4 December 1909 – Arsenal won 1-0
- Last meeting: 2 March 2019 – 1-1 draw
- Largest victory: Tottenham 0 Arsenal 6 (6 March 1935)
Past five games between the north London rivals
- 2 March 2019: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1
- 19 December 2018: Arsenal 0 Tottenham 2 (League Cup)
- 2 December 2018: Arsenal 4 Tottenham 2
- 10 February 2018: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 0
- 18 November 2017: Arsenal 2 Tottenham 0
No.1 derby in British football
After years of Arsenal domination and bragging rights the tide has turned in Tottenham’s favour. Spurs have finished above Arsenal for the past three seasons and also reached the final of the 2018-19 Uefa Champions League.
Forget Glasgow, Manchester and Merseyside, in its ranking of the top ten most exciting derbies in Britain, football magazine FourFourTwo places the north London clash as No.1.
Huw Davies writes: “The modern north London derby has everything: two teams fighting at the same level, background stories still unfolding for both clubs, tight contests, exotic talent and local stars.
“Above all, it has an endless capacity to surprise us. What more could you want from a derby?”
This weekend’s Premier League fixtures
Saturday 31 August (3pm unless stated)
- Southampton vs. Manchester United (12.30pm, live on BT Sport)
- Chelsea vs. Sheffield United
- Crystal Palace vs. Aston Villa
- Leicester City vs. AFC Bournemouth
- Manchester City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
- Newcastle United vs. Watford
- West Ham United vs. Norwich City
- Burnley vs. Liverpool (5.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Sunday 1 September
- Everton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers (2pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)