By Richard Clarke
Manuel Almunia believes that the atmosphere at White Hart Lane on Wednesday will be hotter than the one he faced at Barcelona last week.
The Arsenal keeper was beaten four times by Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp as the visitors bowed out of the Champions League. It left them with just their Premier League ambitions to play for this season.
Tottenham are in the same position having lost to Portsmouth in the FA Cup Semi-Final on Sunday. It makes the North London derby more important than most and Almunia is expecting a more intense environment than the one in Spain last Tuesday.
“It is not the same the pressure,” Almunia told TV Online at a special Junior Gunners event on Saturday. “At Tottenham it is going to be tougher. Barcelona’s stadium is massive with a lot of people. But it is not the same pressure and the people are more gentle. They enjoy their team.
“The rivalry Arsenal have with Tottenham will switch the people on. The atmosphere is more serious and tough. But we have played there many times and we know that very well.”
TV Online subscribers can see the full video now. In it Almunia talks about:
- Having eight days break
- Taking the arm-band with Fabregas injured
- The state of the title race
- Whether five wins would win it
- The current Tottenham side