Form goes out the window in derby, but Spurs must learn from past Emirates mistakes

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane heads home to open the scoring during the Premier League match agains

Tottenham Hotspur's Harry Kane heads home to open the scoring during the Premier League match against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium (pic: John Walton/PA Images). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Mauricio Pochettino’s team have failed to show their true quality away to Arsenal in recent seasons

Tottenham Hotspur will travel to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday for the first north London derby of the season and it will be one of two to take place in the month.

Rivals Arsenal and Spurs will do battle this coming weekend in the Premier League before they meet again on Wednesday, December 19 in the League Cup quarter-finals.

The most important encounter is always the first, but if the N17 club are to give their supporters two early Christmas presents, they must learn from past games.

Both teams played in Europe this week with Spurs hosting Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday and Arsenal in Europa League action at Vorskla on Thursday.

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The north London foes headed into the midweek fixtures full of confidence after outstanding runs in recent months, but on Sunday form will go out the window.

From 2.05pm, the team which wants it more for 90 minutes will win and claim bragging rights for two weeks at the very least.

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Mauricio Pochettino’s record against Arsenal is pretty decent, but the three wins his side have registered in nine derbies were all against former Gunners manager Arsene Wenger.

It will be a different challenge on Sunday as the Argentinian takes on ‘good friend’ Unai Emery for the first time in England.

While Pochettino has only lost on two occasions to Arsenal, one of them in the League Cup, he has failed to win a derby on the road.

Many expected Tottenham to win at the Emirates in November 2017, however, with Spurs going into the clash in very good form.

The Lilywhites thrashed high-flying Liverpool a month prior and held Real Madrid to a draw away and then won at Wembley.

All those results happened in the build up to facing Arsenal while the Gunners were not at their best.

They had failed to defeat Red Star Belgrade at home and lost comprehensively away to Manchester City.

Yet when in-form Spurs visited their low on confidence rivals, it was the hosts’ who triumphed by a 2-0 score with Tottenham producing a below-par display and it should act as a warning for this group of players to ensure complacency doesn’t creep in.

Another area where Pochettino will want to see improvement at the Emirates is for Spurs to take their big chances when on top.

If they do that, they might just get a long, overdue away win in a north London derby.

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