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EPL: Arsenal, Tottenham Up For North London Derby

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Arsenal head to Wembley to face Spurs having not beaten their rivals in the Premier League at White Hart Lane since 2014.

The Gunners are four points and one place adrift of their neighbours as they sit sixth heading into the north London derby.

But Wenger’s men have won their last nine games at the national stadium, including a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in this season’s Community Shield and the Frenchman is pleased to be back at Wembley.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has no injuries to contend with for the match.

January signing Lucas Moura could make the squad after working on his fitness this week while Toby Alderweireld is in line to start after playing 90 minutes against Newport on Wednesday.

Harry Winks, Serge Aurier and Danny Rose all returned in the FA Cup fourth-round win in midweek and are also in contention.

Arsenal could be without Petr Cech for the match.

The experienced goalkeeper was forced off in the win over Everton with a calf problem and has not trained since as David Ospina prepares to deputise.

Nacho Monreal also came off in that 5-1 victory due to illness but should be available to retain his place while Danny Welbeck (hip) is back in contention. Santi Cazorla (Achilles) remains a long-term absentee.

Spurs have lost just one of their last seven Premier League games against Arsenal (W2 D4), although that defeat came earlier this season, losing 2-0 at the Emirates.

Arsenal are aiming to win both home and away against their north London rivals in the Premier League for just the fourth time in the same season, doing so previously in 2004-05, 2007-08 and 2013-14.

Harry Kane has scored six goals in six Premier League games against Arsenal, only failing to score in one those games – the reverse fixture this season. The England striker has scored four times in three home Premier League games against Arsenal.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four goals in four previous appearances against Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions; once in the Champions League (2 games) and three goals in the Europa League (2 games).

Wenger Calls For Cool Heads

Meanwhile, Arsene Wenger has warned his Arsenal stars to keep their cool when they face bitter rivals Tottenham as the heated north London derby returns to Wembley for the first time in 25 years.

Languishing in sixth place in the Premier League, Wenger’s side are however just four points behind fifth placed Tottenham.

With their hopes of a top four place and qualification for the Champions League hanging in the balance, the Gunners can ill-afford a damaging defeat at the hands of their hated neighbours this afternoon,  while Tottenham are also a point adrift of the top four and desperate to avoid defeat.

“There is always huge passion before the game and the emotion at stake that becomes a bit more agitated,” he said.

“It is always a game that is charged emotionally. For us, it is an opportunity to come back closer to the Champions League places, which is a priority.”



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