LONDON, April 28 (Reuters) - Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal pay a Premier League visit to North London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday for the 50th meeting between the sides during his managerial reign.
Arsenal have won 18, drawn 21 and lost 10 of the previous 49 derbies and will be eager to dent Mauricio Pochettino’s hopes of snatching the title from leaders Chelsea.
Here is what the fans have to say about their two clubs:
Tottenham: Mike Leigh, Spurs Show podcast, Playback Media:
”Form goes out of the window in North London derbies. Both teams are desperate for three points for different reasons and both teams will want to scupper the other’s ambitions. In saying that, tactically I can see Arsenal setting up the way they did against Man City in the FA Cup semi final - playing deep and playing on the counter.
”Arsene Wenger tried playing with three at the back against Leicester so whether he tries it again, time will tell. Both managers will know the battle is in midfield. I think whoever wins that should win the game.
”As far as the title race is concerned, no one except the most crazed Spurs fans honestly expects Chelsea to lose and draw two of their remaining games. Most fans are delighted to see further improvements from last year’s great season.
”I think Spurs will win 2-1 this weekend. It will be tight and not the drubbing a lot of their fans are predicting...
“With the Auld Firm derby aside, the North London derby is the biggest in British football - even bigger than the Manchester derby. The opposing fans really hate each other and in previous years the atmosphere has been poisonous.”
Arsenal: Akhil Vyas, Arsenal Supporters Trust:
”The FA Cup win last weekend is huge for Arsenal’s confidence and a welcome reminder that we can compete against big teams. The wins against Middlesbrough and Leicester either side also help build the confidence – a new formation and three wins in a row.
”I wish I could say we were in the race for the title but ...this game is about reminding everyone we are a good side, getting back into the top four, building confidence before that cup final – and of course, it’s about making sure Spurs do not win the title.
”My heart says Arsenal will scrap and secure a 2-1 win but my head says it will be 1-1. Our new defensive shape may help us keep them at bay.
”It’s a strange feeling knowing that for the first time in over twenty years Spurs will finish above Arsenal - but it had to happen one day...
“Arsene Wenger’s future still remains the subject of much debate. Even though The FA Cup semi final was a nice moment and I think the supporters enjoyed seeing Wenger celebrate in the way that he did, but overall I don’t think that has changed anything for anyone. The majority of fans still think it’s time for a change and a victory at Wembley could be a perfect way to go out.” (email@example.com; editing by John Stonestreet)