Hugo Lloris has claimed that the North London derby on Sunday has more meaning than in recent seasons since both teams are not where they want to be in the Premier League table.
Spurs and Arsenal have often been direct rivals for a top-four spot in recent seasons but neither side occupies the Champions League places coming into tomorrow’s game.
Going into the weekend, Tottenham sat in seventh place, five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea with a game in hand. The Gunners were languishing in tenth and are all but out of the race for the top four.
Lloris knows better than most what the North London derby is all about, having been at Spurs for almost nine years.
The Frenchman claimed that both sets of players will be playing for pride on Sunday on the back of below-par campaigns.
The 34-year-old told the club’s official website: “First of all, it’s just the taste, to enjoy the derby in the best way is to win it.
“It’s not necessary to see the table. This is a game about pride, and even more because both teams are not in the place we expected.”
Mourinho has rotated his squad a lot over recent weeks, with games coming thick and fast for Spurs. The likes of Lucas Moura and Erik Lamela have really stepped up to the plate and delivered when called upon and Lloris insisted that every single player is working hard to get into the team.
The Tottenham captain added: “We are in a good moment, but we have to keep our feet on the floor, stay calm, recover well and prepare for the game as best as we can.
“We need everyone ready. The squad is quite complete and we can see in any training session that players want to play, players want to help the team and that’s good, the mentality is there.”
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Lloris certainly makes a good point about this derby being an opportunity for both sets of players to make amends to the fans over what has been a below-par campaign.
Both Mourinho and Arteta have come under fire from the fans at different points in the season and they will be looking to curry some favour with their respective fan bases by winning on Sunday.
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