Ahead of the North-London derby, the Tottenham coaching staff have warned their players that the Emirates Stadium will be the loudest they’ve ever experienced, and not to let what they hear in the stands affect what happens on the pitch.
Speaking to Paddy Power News, a source from within the club offered some insights into the challenges Jose’s team will face, where the game could be won and lost, and what winning would mean in the race for a top 10 finish.
“Without the deafening silence of 60,000 Arsenal fans drowning out any noise, the players have been told to prepare for all eventualities, including the sound of £17 Chai Latte’s being made, 150,000 of Hector Bellerin’s unused trees rustling in the wind, and a sh*t-load of aggressive screams from fan-cam groups hanging around in the streets outside, hoping to get their viewing figures up” he told us.
Asked what they expect to see on the pitch, our Tottenham source went on to say: “It will be a very tight game with not many chances; however, all the time Granit Xhaka is on the pitch, the likelihood is we will take all 3 points. The boy is a real gamechanger as far as we are concerned, so we need to make sure he is involved as much as possible.”
On hearing comments made from the Tottenham camp, an Arsenal spokesperson made no secret about what the red half of North-London see as their priorities.
“We’re Arsenal, so our ambition is much greater than Spurs. At the start of the season, Mikel outlined the three-point plan. Sell Ozil, increase our xG – whatever the f*ck that is – and ensure Emile Smith-Rowe gets the most pre-assists in the squad. We are well on track if you ask me.”
And one football finance expert has pointed to the importance of the game by emphasising the long-term ramifications should either team finish outside of the top 10.
“The difference in prize money between finishing in 10th and 11th place is about 15 quid, which as we know, covers the value of the Arsenal squad,” Professor Anders Ornberg of the Sitting Around Watching Football And Playing FIFA All Day Department at the London School of Economics said.
“However, for Spurs it shouldn’t make any difference, as 99.7% of the revenue they generate comes from commemorative DVD sales, meaning if they beat Arsenal this weekend, they are set for some bumper income.”
Both sides come into this fixture following comfortable mid-week wins over Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos respectively.
Tottenham are expected to bring Gareth Bale back into the side and revert to the familiar 7-3-0 formation which served them well in the reverse fixture at the start of December.
While Arsenal are likely to include David Luiz, Gabriel, Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Nicolas Pepe in their starting XI, which would be great news for both Spurs and the neutral.
- Man United appoint laundry lady Doris as Director of Underpants
- Stevie G’s plan to manage both Liverpool and Rangers revealed
- Piers Morgan appoints himself Arteta advisor after Good Morning Britain exit
- Lyle Lanley wows Barcelona members with Monorail plan