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Barclays Premier League

Emirates Stadium (ATT 60,106) 26th February 2012 - Kick off 13:30 Ref: M Dean

Arsenal Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham

Arsenal 5

B Sagna (40)
R van Persie (43)
T Rosicky (51)
T Walcott (65, 68)

ft

Tottenham 2

L Saha (4)
E Adebayor (pen 34)
S Parker (S/O 87)

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Arsenal v Tottenham preview

Spurs looking to record rare league double over Gunners

By Joe Drabble - Twitter: @SkySportsDrabs.   Last Updated: 24/02/12 3:20pm

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Local bragging rights are once again up for grabs at the Emirates

Local bragging rights are once again up for grabs at the Emirates

One of the most anticipated Premier League fixtures of the season graces the Sky Sports cameras on Sunday lunchtime as Arsenal and Tottenham do battle with plenty at stake at the Emirates.

The rivalry between the two clubs has seldom been fiercer following a recent shift in power between the North London neighbours.

For so long it was Arsenal who claimed local bragging rights, however for the first time under Arsene Wenger's stewardship, it is the Gunners who find themselves in huge danger of not only finishing beneath Spurs, but also outside the top four.

Form guide: Arsenal: LLDWW Tottenham: DLWDW Injuries: Arsenal: Mertesacker, Santos, Diaby, Wilshere. Tottenham: Gallas, Huddlestone, Sandro. Suspended: Arsenal: None. Tottenham: None. Referee: Mike Dean Sky Bet odds: Arsenal 6/4, Draw 23/10, Tottenham 7/4 Jamie Redknapp's Red Hot Tips: Arsenal and Tottenham to draw 1-1 6/1 Opta stat: Tottenham have kept just one clean sheet in their last 32 matches in all competitions against the Gunners.

Tottenham, on the other hand, have assumed the status of genuine title challengers under Harry Redknapp and currently sit in third place just seven points off top spot and 10 ahead of fourth-placed Arsenal.

Focus

With UEFA Champions League football all-but guaranteed for the Spurs faithful next season, their main focus now, it appears, is to keep hold of the man who has been integral to their success - England managerial target Redknapp.

Redknapp takes his side to the Emirates on the back of a nervy 0-0 draw with Stevenage in the fifth round of the FA Cup, but in league terms, in the aftermath of a 5-0 thrashing of Newcastle.

Arsenal were all-but condemned to a sixth successive trophyless season following a 2-0 FA Cup defeat at Sunderland last week - a result which came just days after a humiliating 4-0 first-leg loss at AC Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Gunners' league form has been more encouraging, though, with the race for fourth place serving as plenty of motivation in recent weeks.

Wenger's men have lost just twice at home in the league this season - Manchester United and Liverpool coming away victorious - and host Tottenham on the back of a 7-1 league hammering of Blackburn in their previous home league fixture.

Team news

Spurs will be hoping attacking duo Rafael van der Vaart and former Gunner Emmanuel Adebayor come through late fitness tests to help their quest for a first Premier League double over Arsenal since 1993.

Benoit Assou-Ekotto underwent minor groin surgery last week, but is expected to play while Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe have also made full recoveries from recent injuries.

Arsenal will be sweating over the fitness of Wales captain Aaron Ramsey, who limped out of the side's 2-0 cup defeat at Sunderland, striker Marouane Chamakh (toe) and central defender Laurent Koscielny (knee).

Fellow defenders Per Mertesacker and Santos remain sidelined with ankle injuries, while Jack Wilshere and Abou Diaby are also definite absentees.

Mike Dean has been appointed referee for Sunday's match, not a good omen for the Gunners, who have failed to win any of the last 11 league games with the Wirral official in charge.

Possible starting XI's

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Song, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott, Van Persie.

Tottenham: Freidel; Walker, King, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto; Parker, Modric, Bale, Lennon; Van der Vaart, Adebayor.

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Matches

Table

Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 29 67
2 Manchester City 30 61
3 Arsenal 30 60
4 Manchester United 30 59
5 Liverpool 30 54
6 Southampton 30 53
7 Tottenham Hotspur 30 53
8 Swansea City 30 43
9 West Ham United 30 42
10 Stoke City 30 42
11 Crystal Palace 30 36
12 Newcastle United 30 35
13 Everton 30 34
14 West Bromwich Albion 30 33
15 Hull City 30 28
16 Aston Villa 30 28
17 Sunderland 30 26
18 Burnley 30 25
19 Queens Park Rangers 30 22
20 Leicester City 29 19

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