Gary Neville has backed Tottenham to take all three points against Arsenal ahead of Thursday’s crucial north London derby in the race to finish in the Premier League top four.
Both sides are scrapping to secure as many of the remaining points as possible, with the Gunners currently holding a four-point advantage in the final Champions League spot.
But ahead of the fixture in N17, Spurs are likely to arrive with a bit of spring in their step after producing an encouraging display on Saturday to earn a 1-1 draw at title-chasers Liverpool.
And Tottenham’s graft in taking a point away from Anfield was enough to convince Neville that Antonio Conte’s men will be able to overcome Arsenal, when they lock horns in what he predicts to be a ‘tasty’ midweek encounter in north London.
He said on the Gary Neville Podcast: “I think it will be a really tasty game on Thursday night, not just because of the fact it’s a North London derby and they’re playing for Champions League places. But the way in which this game was called off earlier in the year – even I wasn’t too happy with that!
“So there will be a little bit of needle, there is anyway so we don’t need to talk that up. Look, it’s Arsenal’s to lose but Tottenham on Thursday night, that will be hard for Arsenal. If they come out of there with a draw or a victory they’ll have done very well with the feeling that will be in that stadium against them.
“It’s a big game, I’m looking forward to it. I fancy Tottenham on Thursday night. I thought they were brilliant at Anfield, I thought it was a really good performance because Liverpool are one of the very, very best.”
The fixture was initially pencilled in for Sunday, January 16 but was postponed by the Premier League at Arsenal’s request for a combination of Covid-19 absences, injuries and players on international duty.
The League’s decision at the time was thought to have ‘extremely surprised’ hosts Tottenham, who criticised the grounds behind postponing matches (The Guardian).
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The match has so much backstory with the race for the Champions League at the forefront coupled with how it was originally pushed back to this date.
The Tottenham players should keep those in mind, but put them aside briefly to fully focus on the task at hand, and Conte will no doubt make sure they are ready to fight, especially to stop Arsenal celebrating a return to Champions League football on Spurs’ own turf.
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