Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour tells Sky Sports News he foresees north London derby stalemate

Parlour: predicting derby draw

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour says he expects a draw in Sunday's north London derby.

The Gunners hero, 39, believes Spurs are much improved but that honours will end even when the rivals clash at White Hart Lane this weekend.

Arsene Wenger's erratic side are four points behind third-placed Tottenham, and two behind fourth-placed Chelsea, with the race for Champions League football set for a grandstand finish.

Parlour, who also represented England during a stellar career, knows more about the history of this game than most having played in a record 19 north London derbies.

"The form book goes out the window. Spurs will be favourites but I think Arsenal will turn up and have a go."

Ray Parlour

He told Sky Sports News: "Things have changed. Going back to my time, it used to be an easy three points for us! Spurs are well organised now and credit to Andre Villas-Boas for what he's done at the club.

"It's a massive game and the gap could be seven points afterwards, which is a big gap, or just one point. I'm going to sit on the fence, though - I think it's going to be a draw. I think it will be a tense, tight game.

"There are a lot of match-winners on there. You look at the players for Arsenal - Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere. Then you look at Spurs and I like Aaron Lennon as well as Gareth Bale on the other wing. Those wing positions will be vital for Spurs. Lewis Holtby looks a decent player as well.

"It's all about on the day. Who can win that first tackle, who has that little bit more hunger to win it. The form book goes out the window. Spurs will be favourites but I think Arsenal will turn up and have a go."

Alternative view

Tottenham club ambassador and another former England star, Ledley King, holds the record for the most appearances in derbies by a Spurs player and is equally excited as the game fast approaches.

A knee injury forced the towering defender to retire last year at the tender age of 31, but the end of his playing days has done little to dilute his enthusiasm for the fixture.

King added: "It's got the makings of a classic. The teams are very close in the league at the moment and one team will be looking to stretch the gap and one will be looking to close it.

"The Premier League is the best league in the world you're going to miss playing in it for your club. Stepping away from it can be tough but I'm enjoying my new role and I'm looking forward to watching the big game from the other side."

Most of the talk in the lead up to the game has surrounded wizard winger Gareth Bale, who hit the headlines again with a match-winning brace in Monday night's 3-2 victory at West Ham.

King said of the Wales star's form: "It's just confidence with Gareth. He's always had this in him. As a young lad, we recognised his talents and brought him to the club. He's got everything - his size, the left foot and all the ingredients to be a top class player.

"You've seen the celebrations, all the lads in there with him, even the manager. He's really loved around the club. He's a good lad and he works hard around the club."