Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal: Premier League Preview
It has been a while since the North London derby between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal has had such a significant bearing on the Premier League top-four race.
Old foes will lock horns in the 191st edition of the famed derby on Thursday, with a spot in next season's Champions League group stages at stake.
A victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would guarantee fourth-placed Arsenal direct qualification into Europe's most prestigious competition for the first time since 2015/16.
Mikel Arteta's men head into proceedings four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, courtesy of an eye-catching four-match winning streak in the Premier League.
The Gunners defeated non-other than West Ham United, Manchester United and Chelsea during that four-game sequence, with the victories over the latter two yielding multi-goal margins.
Arsenal's rich vein of form comes in handy as they look to halt an abysmal seven-game winless league run away to Tottenham (D2, L5) and post their first triumph at Spurs since 2014.
However, they also stare down the barrel of a three-game losing away league streak against bitter rivals for the first time since 1961.
In the meantime, Tottenham held title-bidding Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield last time out, but they were lucky to leave Merseyside undefeated.
Spurs are not enjoying the most inspiring spell of form as they come into this matchday winless in three of their last four Premier League outings (D2, L1).
To make things worse for Tottenham, their manager Antonio Conte has won just one of his seven contests against Arsenal (D4, L3).
But there is still a silver lining for Spurs. They have won four of their last five league games at home (L1), bagging 3+ goals on each occasion.
Considering the importance of this fixture, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min will have to deliver another sublime showing.
Yet, we back Arsenal to at least avoid defeat.