Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur: North London Derby preview

Posted on 7 February 2020 by Alexandra Ibaceta

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After back to back deficits in the WSL, Arsenal will look to give their fans a win against across town rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, at a sold-out Meadow Park.

Last November saw the first ever North London Derby played in the league; with goals from Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema, Spurs fell 2-0 at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in front of a WSL record crowd of 38,262 fans.

It might not be 38,000 fans, but Meadow Park has a sell-out crowd of over 4,000 and after being at full capacity for their last match against Chelsea, this is the first time in WSL history that a club has sold out consecutive home matches.

Joe Montemurro’s title hopes have been dealt a blow following defeat in their last two WSL fixtures against Chelsea and Manchester City who both now sit above the current Champions.

With only eight matches left in the league, any chance to defend their crown will be unlikely if the Gunners drop any more points.

Chelsea are only one point ahead in second, but with a game in hand, while City sit three points clear of Arsenal at the summit.

Currently sitting in seventh, just three points separate Tottenham from fourth place Manchester United.

Karen Hills and Juan Amoros’ side have not played a WSL match since they fell 3-0 away to Manchester United mid-January as their fixture against Bristol City was postponed last weekend when the Hive was deemed unplayable.

Since the reverse fixture in November, Spurs have reinforced their squad with the loan signing of Emma Mitchell from Arsenal.

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The transfer caused plenty of backlash against the defender for switching between rival clubs, but the women’s game is not at the privilege point where players are able to pick and choose where they go just yet.

While Mitchell switching loyalties for half a season is not a problem in the WSL, the new North London rivalry is slowly brewing.

Arsenal striker, Beth Mead, spoke to Sky Sports about the classic derby replicating itself in the women’s league.

“It felt like a real game of football [last time out], you could feel the feistiness between the players and the fans,” said Mead.

“I was getting booed when I was going to hit corners and there were tackles flying around in the pitch and that’s part and parcel of these derby games. As a football player you actually quite enjoy that

“I think it’s going to be a big rivalry with Tottenham for the coming seasons.”

The derby kicks off at 14:00 GMT this Sunday at Meadow Park, live on BBC Red Button.

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