Arsenal legend explains why Mikel Arteta’s men are ‘already 1-0 down’ ahead of Tottenham showdown

Gabriel of Arsenal celebrate scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London Credit: Alamy
Gabriel of Arsenal celebrate scoring the opening goal during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London Credit: Alamy

Ian Wright has made his prediction for Sunday’s big north London derby clash but joked that Arsenal are ‘already 1-0 down’ in the fixture due to one important factor.

The table-topping Gunners will move eight points clear of defending champions Manchester City if they beat Spurs, after Manchester United came from behind to stun Pep Guardiola’s side 2-1 in the Manchester derby on Saturday.

If Mikel Arteta’s men can take advantage of City’s loss it will go a long way to them securing their first league title since 2004.

As for Tottenham, they are currently two points off the Champions League places. That is despite the fact they have largely unimpressed all season, winning 10 of their 18 league outings so far.

However, the Harry Kane factor does give them a fighting chance against a superior Arsenal team.

The England skipper boasts a brilliant record in north London derbies, scoring 14 goals in 18 games. He is also eyeing two massive milestones.

The 29-year-old is two goals away from reaching 200 in the Premier League, while he is just one shy of equalling Jimmy Greaves’ Tottenham record of 266 goals.

To that end, Wright admits he is nervous about Kane’s threat ahead of the game.

Must-win game for Arsenal

Previewing the big clash the Ringer FC podcast, Wright said: “I’m nervous. For me, this is a game Arsenal need to win.

“In a season where Arsenal are striving to win the title, I believe they need to win this game. And it’s against our biggest rivals.

“We’re already going into the game 1-0 down because Harry Kane always scores against us…

“All I want is for us to start well and to put that Tottenham defence under pressure, to put everyone past that front four under pressure. Because if Spurs’ front four starts to click, they are going to cause Arsenal problems.

“I’m very nervous, simply because I know we have to win. When you’re going into a title challenge and you’re up there, there’s certain games you can’t lose and I think this is one of them.

“But overall, it’s a game I do believe we are going to win.”

The Gunners beat Tottenham 3-1 in the first north London derby of the season and Arteta is expecting a similar outcome again.

He added: “I think the players are in a good emotional state. They are excited and enjoying playing together.

“Obviously we are in a good position. We have to now improve a lot of things and maintain a lot of the good things that have taken us this far.”

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