Pre-Match Report

Preview: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

The first north London derby of the season rolls around on Sunday afternoon, as we aim to win three consecutive league games against Tottenham Hotspur for the first time since 1989.

Both teams head into the fixture level on 13 points and boasting unbeaten records after five league matches, but Spurs have had the benefit of a full week to prepare for this game having missed out on European qualification last term. However, we are unbeaten in each of our last 15 league games following a European encounter.

The history books are very much in our favour as we have lost just once in our last 30 home derbies, and none since November 2010. That’s a record all Gooners will be desperate for us to improve as we aim to maintain the momentum gained from three successive victories heading into this one.

Ange answering early questions

Dejan Kulusevski celebrates scoring in Tottenham's win over Sheffield United

Just like last season, Spurs arrive at Emirates Stadium unbeaten which is no mean feat given the upheaval they endured over the summer. A drawn-out process eventually saw Ange Postecoglou poached from Celtic to become their new boss, while an even longer saga ended when Harry Kane switched to Bayern Munich.

However, the Australian manager has guided his new team to their best start in Premier League history, and their best points return after five games since 1965. The additions of James Maddison and Brennan Johnson have freshened up their attack, with Son Heung-min taking up the captaincy from the released Hugo Lloris. Tottenham have scored at least twice in all five of their league games under Postecoglu so far, which includes four successive wins with Bournemouth and Burnley beaten on their travels.

They have also shown plenty of resilience too, as coming into this weekend only Liverpool have won more points from losing positions than the seven Spurs have gained so far, which includes three gained last weekend when they netted twice deep into stoppage-time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat at home to Sheffield United.

What the managers say

Arteta: “It’s a new challenge, a new opportunity. They have a new manager who has done really, really well and changed the vibe and everything around the club. It’s a different style as well, so we need to adapt to that, be ourselves and produce the performance that we need to beat them.

“[Kane] was the one that glued everything together and he did it in many different ways from many different areas of the pitch. Now it’s a bit different. I think they have a different style from the last two coaches as well there for sure. They have some specificity in some movements that they make with certain players, so I think it’s a very different team.” - read everything from Mikel’s pre-match press conference

Ange Postecoglou

Postecoglu: "It's fair to say people have given me an indication about how they feel about this game and that's great. I've been involved in derbies, one very significant one and you understand what it means to supporters for both clubs and the significance in terms of the general mood around the place.

"All these things add significance to the future and on top of that they are also a very, very good football side. They had an outstanding season last season, they've strengthened this year and they're a group that for the most part has grown together and you can see that there's a real belief within them. Playing at their place will be a hell of a challenge for us."

Talking tactics

Yves Bissouma in action for Tottenham

Adrian Clarke, writing in the official matchday programme: Under Postecoglou, Tottenham are no longer a deep-lying, reactive counter-attacking side. They have quickly become a proactive team full of individuals who are comfortable receiving the ball in tight areas, wanting to form neat triangles and attack with numbers. 

They line up in a 4-2-3-1 system, and focus on possession-based football, aiming to create overloads and find space. This style change has seen Spurs increase the number of successful passes they make inside the opposition half by 67 per cent, and they lead the way with touches in the opposition box. Runners exploit gaps between full-backs and central defenders, so they will try to test us with bursts from deep.

A lot of what Tottenham produce right now goes through rejuvenated central midfielder Yves Bissouma. A lot of build-up play revolves around the former Brighton & Hove Albion star’s quality in possession, and he has been superb at regaining the ball. No midfielder has made more interceptions, and he ranks joint second for tackles made. 

Switching to such an adventurous style has understandably led to Spurs being vulnerable to opposition attacks. From turnovers, they have been stretched, especially in the wide areas with opponents creating plenty of goalscoring opportunities.

Team news

Gabriel Martinelli in action against Everton

It remains to be seen if Gabriel Martinelli will be fit for this game, after limping off against Everton last weekend with a hamstring issue that caused him to miss Wednesday’s Champions League win over PSV Eindhoven.

Thomas Partey will definitely be out with his groin injury, with Jurrien Timber our only other player in the treatment room following his ACL tear on the opening weekend.

Spurs were dealt a huge blow in midweek with the news that Ivan Perisic will likely miss the rest of the campaign with his own ACL injury, which was suffered in training. 

Giovani lo Celso has a thigh issue, but long-term absentees Bryan Gil (thigh), Ryan Sessegnon hamstring) and Rodrigo Bentancur (knee) remain out.

Facts and stats

Bukayo Saka during the game against PSV

We have won four of our last five games against Tottenham (L1), as many victories as we had in the previous 16.

Tottenham have won just one of their last 30 away league games against us (D11 L18) and are winless in 12 (D4 L8) since a 3-2 victory in November 2010.

We have only scored more Premier League home goals against Everton (76) than we have against Tottenham (63), while Spurs have only conceded more away goals against Liverpool (64) than against us in the competition.

We haven’t lost any of our 14 Premier League London derbies since the start of last season (W11 D3), scoring 32 goals and conceding just 10 in the process. At the Emirates, we are unbeaten in 11 since a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in our first home game of 2021/22.

This is the first meeting between us and Tottenham with both sides still unbeaten coming into the match since September 1990, when the pair drew 0-0 at Highbury in the third game of the season. In the Premier League, it's the sixth time we have faced Spurs while still unbeaten (W2 D3), while it's the fifth time Spurs have faced us without having lost (D1 L3).

Since the start of last season, we have scored more Premier League goals from corners than any other side (16), while Tottenham are second in this respect (15). Our last two winning goals have been from corner situations (Declan Rice v Man Utd, Leandro Trossard v Everton).

Mikel Arteta has won all three of his home league games against Tottenham as our manager – only Terry Neill has won his first four in charge of us.

Bukayo Saka has been involved in 18 goals in his last 18 Premier League home appearances (12 goals, 6 assists), including three in three this term.

Discover five more obscure stats from this fixture's history

Match officials

Robert Jones

Robert Jones takes charge of his first north London derby, in what will be the fifth occasion he has refereed one of our games. Three of those came last season in the home wins over Aston Villa and Chelsea, plus our draw at Southampton.

He has already officiated Tottenham this season when they drew 2-2 with Brentford on the opening weekend, when he awarded the Bees a penalty and booked four Spurs players, including two for dissent.

  • Referee: Robert Jones 
  • Assistants: Lee Betts, Wade Smith
  • Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury
  • VAR: Paul Tierney
  • Assistant VAR: Harry Lennard

Recent visits from Spurs

We are looking to claim a fourth-straight home win against our rivals for the first time since 2013, following last season’s 3-1 win when goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka saw us end Spurs’ unbeaten start to the campaign.

That result mirrored the one from the previous campaign, when Emile Smith Rowe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Saka got on the scoresheet against Nuno Espirito Santo’s team in September 2021

The campaign before that, a first Gunners goal for Martin Odegaard plus an Alexandre Lacazette strike helped complete a 2-1 comeback win, while in September 2019 we overturned a two-goal deficit to grab a point and deny Spurs a first win at Emirates Stadium since November 2010.

Reminisce about five classic home wins over Spurs, including successive 5-2 successes, Wenger’s first derby and one of Thierry Henry’s greatest goals.

How to watch

Breakdown Live

Tune into Breakdown Live on and the official app an hour before kick-off as Nick Bright and Adrian Clarke host a packed derby day special!

Club legends Emmanuel Petit and Kanu will be dropping by to give their thoughts ahead of kick-off and share their memories of the fixture, while a star-studded studio audience includes You Me At Six’s Josh Franceschi, BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, TikTok star Watson D. Hirschfield and Rudimental’s Locksmith who will chat to the boys.

They'll also be joined pitchside by a selection of our international supporters’ groups who have made the journey to north London, while you can listen to live kick-by-kick commentary of the match from Dan Roebuck and Jeremie Aliadiere.

If you want to watch the on-field action, find out which TV channel is showing the game wherever you are in the world.

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Fixtures & Results

Premier League
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