The North London derby is always a thrilling contest, but this showdown between Tottenham and Arsenal comes with plenty of added excitement.
Tottenham is currently on an incredible run and has not lost a league fixture since December 9. The club is on pace for its best finish in over two decades.
Arsenal may also be breaking a historical trend, but unlike Spurs, this is not positive. If the Gunners fail to close the two-point gap between themselves and fourth-place Chelsea, Arsene Wenger will not secure a Champions League spot for the first time during his tenure with the club.
Here is everything you need to know about the match.
Where: White Hart Lane, London, England
When: Sunday, March 3, 11 a.m. ET
Watch: Fox Soccer Channel
What They’re Saying
Gareth Bale is having a truly incredible campaign, and ESPN’s Sam Limbert drew an intriguing comparison between Spurs this season and Arsenal last year:
Accusations of being a one-man team are nothing new in North London. Last season, as much as Arsenal fans tried to deny it, Robin van Persie carried the team for a significant chunk of the season. This term, it is Tottenham's turn to fend off those suggestions, with Gareth Bale seemingly single-handedly taking on the task of getting Spurs into the Champions League.
Tottenham Player to Watch: Gareth Bale
The charges of Tottenham being a one-man team are not without basis.
Emmanuel Adebayor has not made an impact this season, and Jermain Defoe has missed time recently due to an ankle injury. Creative midfielders such as Clint Dempsey, Aaron Lennon, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lewis Holtby have had moments of quality but have also looked ordinary far too often.
Fortunately for the 'Spurs, Bale has been extraordinary this season, and his recent performances have been otherworldly. His game-winner against West Ham United earlier this week is one of those goals that fans can watch over and over without every growing tired of it.
He has been the best player in the Premier League while racking up 15 goals, and there is no doubt that he will be the player to watch in this contest.
Arsenal Player to Watch: Santi Cazorla
With the Premiership’s most dangerous attacking talent on the other side of the pitch, Arsenal will need a fantastic match from its top playmaker.
Cazorla has been consistently brilliant this season and has 11 goals in addition to six assists in league matches.
Recently, he flashed his versatility and netted two goals against Aston Villa while playing at left-winger instead of in his usual attacking central midfielder spot. Regardless of where he lines up, the Gunners will rely on him to spark the attack.
If he cannot deliver a top-class performance, it will be extremely difficult for Arsenal to get a desirable result in this match.
Key Matchup: Arsenal Defensive Midfielders vs. Gareth Bale
Guarding Bale is an absolute nightmare.
Play too far off him, and he will rocket a shot from distance. Stand too close, and he will simply blow by his marker.
It will take discipline, aggression and a lot of luck for the Gunners to keep Bale of the scoresheet in this match. But even if he only scores once, Arsenal still has an excellent shot to earn points.
But if the team lets him find the back of the net more than once—as he has done three times in his last four matches—a Tottenham victory is far and away the most likely outcome.
Prediction: Tottenham 2, Arsenal 1
The contest will be even and fiercely contested, and in the end, a late goal from Bale will be the difference.
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