Five Aside: Arsenal-Tottenham set for massive North London derby
Tottenham and Arsenal meet at White Hart Lane on Saturday in a critical North London Derby. ESPN Stats & Info offers some statistical insight on this all-important Premier League clash.
-- Spurs and Arsenal square off Saturday for the 158th time in league play. Of all the North London Derbies, this might be one of the most pivotal in recent decades, as both teams' title implications will be directly impacted by the result. Tottenham, the home team, is a 45 percent favorite to win, according to ESPN's Soccer Power Index.
-- For Mauricio Pochettino's men, a win will extend the advantage in the league table over their archrivals by six points and put pressure on league leaders Leicester City. On the other hand, Arsenal needs a win to remain within reach in the battle for the league as the season heads into the final 10-game stretch.
-- Currently three points ahead of Arsenal, Tottenham has not finished above its rival since 1994-95, when Gerry Francis' side finished seventh, five places and 11 points above Stewart Houston's Arsenal (George Graham was sacked in February 1995).
-- All top-four teams dropped points midweek, which left the top of the table unchanged. For Tottenham, it was West Ham who kept them from leading the league for the first time this season. In three of their four league losses this season, Tottenham was able to bounce back with a win the following game. The only exception came after a loss to Manchester United in the opening game of the season.
-- In their derby loss to West Ham, Spurs ended a six-game win streak. Since Nov. 1, Tottenham has been the team with the most points in the Premier League.
-- Arsenal have three consecutive losses in all competitions but have not lost four successive games since October 2002. The Gunners will look to improve their away form after winning just two of their past eight away games (three draws, three losses). In their midweek defeat to Swansea, Arsenal outshot their opponents 18-11 with four shots on target and two hitting the post. Additionally, Arsenal had 47 touches in the attacking penalty area compared to eight from Swansea.
-- To make things worse, Arsenal's two top goal scorers have been struggling lately. Olivier Giroud, who has netted 12 league goals this season hasn't scored since Jan. 13 against Liverpool. Alexis Sanchez, who has six Premier League goals this season, scored his last goal in the league Oct. 17 against Watford (11 games).