The North London Derby is taking place Saturday morning. After the 1-1 draw in September, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will meet once again at White Hart Lane. Here is what you need to know.
1) Origins of the North London Derby
The North London Derby started on December 4, 1909 as Woolwich Arsenal defeated Tottenham 1-0. The rivalry wasn’t really a geographical rivalry at first since Arsenal played in Woolrich, East London until 1913 when they moved to North London. The first actual North London Derby resulted in a 5-1 Arsenal win in August 1914.
When the First Division expanded after World War I, Arsenal was voted as one of the two teams selected to the First Division at the expense of Tottenham. Arsenal was 5th in the Second Division while Tottenham was 20th in the First Division. The vote plus the fact they sit four miles apart, made this a rivalry.
2) This is the 180th edition of the North London Derby
Over the years, Arsenal has the most wins with 77. Tottenham has 54 wins and there have been 48 draws. As far as trophies are concerned, Arsenal leads Tottenham 28 to 17.
3) High stakes
Over the past decade, Arsenal and Tottenham have fought hard for a Champions League spot. The two teams are in such a position that they’re usually fighting for the final Champions League spot. The North London Derby is a tremendous game that dictates who can get into Champions League. More importantly, it dictates if Tottenham can make Champions League. Arsenal has made the Champions League every year since 1999. Tottenham hasn’t had as good luck and only made it in 2011.
4) Recent form
Recently, the home team has had the advantage in the North London Derby. Except for an Arsenal win in White Hart Lane last year, Tottenham was unbeaten at home in the Derby since September 2007 while Arsenal was unbeaten at home since November 2010. Before that game, Arsenal hadn’t lost in the North London Derby at home since May 1993
5) Who wins?
Wow this is tough. Both teams have the uncanny ability to be phenomenal and unstoppable one game and then just fall apart the next. Arsenal hasn’t been scored on since a 2-0 loss to Southampton on New Years Day and have been unbeaten in seven of their last eight matches. Tottenham has enjoyed a similar stretch of great games in the EPL. In the League, Tottenham has been unbeaten in four of their last five games, including a 5-3 thrilling win against Chelsea on New Years Day. On Saturday morning, I can see a 2-2 draw. I just hope that it’s an entertaining game so it’s worth getting up early for.