Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal: North London Derby Set for Another Goal-Fest?
The North London Derby is on tap this weekend, and there's now evidence to back up what we already suspected.
Earlier this season, Arsenal beat Spurs 5-2 at the Emirates, mirroring the result from the same fixture last season. The latter set up a stirring run that saw the Gunners storm into third place to end the 2011-12 campaign, but this time, Spurs enter with all the momentum.
Unbeaten in 11 league matches, Tottenham have climbed to third place thanks in part to Welsh winger Gareth Bale's outstanding form. When the two old rivals meet Sunday (11 a.m. ET, Fox Soccer Channel), the result could have a significant impact in the race for the Premier League's third and fourth UEFA Champions League places.
Also, if history is any key, there will be goals. As the Daily Mail reports, the North London Derby is the Premier League's highest-scoring fixture:
Goals, dismissals, comebacks, bust-ups—the north London derby has had plenty of all of these over the years.
Now Sportsmail can reveal that the battle between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal provides the most goals per game in the Premier League when at least 10 matches have been played.
Of the 41 league games fought between the two sides, 121 goals have been scored, or 2.95 goals per game.
Among the recent classics was a November 2008 encounter at White Hart Lane. The match ended 4-4 after Arsenal led 3-1 and again 4-2 with a minute left in regular time.
Afterward that 2008 thriller, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger bemoaned a "lack of maturity" (sound familiar?) and rued two points lost in what turned out to be a failed title challenge.
Asked whether he thought the game was over a 4-2, he said (via BBC Sport): "99 times out of 100 it is. But…we wanted to keep the ball in a negative way and we exposed ourselves. We are on top of that a bit unlucky, but that's what happens in football."
Harry Redknapp, meanwhile, said: "It was a real old slugging match from both teams. We were going for it. …We had a go for it in the end, and we managed to get it."
Video from the match appears above. Enjoy, and prepare yourself for what could be a thriller Sunday.
Anyone fancy a prediction?
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