Tottenham are out to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they travel to north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday.
Penalties from Roberto Soldado gave Andre Villas-Boas’s men victories over both Crystal Palace and Swansea City in their opening two games of the Premier League campaign but their recent record at the Emirates Stadium is far from impressive, with the Gunners strolling to emphatic 5-2 wins in their last two home league outings against their neighbours.
Arsenal bounced back well after losing their first match of the new campaign at home to Aston Villa with a victory at Fulham and will be buoyed by their Champions League play-off triumph over Fenerbahce.
Manager Arsene Wenger has attracted criticism from some sections of the club’s support due to the fact that he has recruited just two players in the transfer window – young striker Yaya Sanogo and experienced midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who re-signed for the club after leaving for AC Milan in 2008.
By contrast, Tottenham have been far more active in the market, breaking their club transfer record three times since the end of last season with the purchases of Paulinho, Soldado and Erik Lamela.
However, Wenger is unconcerned by their rivals’ business and insists that he is solely focused on the upcoming game.
“I must confess I am not too much worried about their risk and what they do,” the Frenchman told reporters.
“I believe you win games when you focus on yourself and the quality of our game. The only thing that counts in football is what happens on the pitch.
“When you see our team play, I think that is the most important: What happens on the pitch. We have a way to play, we have good players and let’s focus on that.”
Arsenal head into the game with a host of injuries, as midfielders Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Aaron Ramsey (groin) are both doubts, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (knee), Thomas Vermaelen (back), Mikel Arteta (thigh) and Lukas Podolski (hamstring) all miss out.
Tottenham will be without Gareth Bale, whose move to Real Madrid is expected to be completed imminently, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto (knee) and Aaron Lennon (ankle) are also unavailable for Villas-Boas.
However, despite a number of absentees on both sides, goals are to be expected, as the north London derby has delivered 124 goals in Premier League history – more than any other fixture.