Saturday features the second set of one of the Premier League's most storied Derbies, with Tottenham and Arsenal meeting at Wembley. The Gunners got the better of the two in the first match of the year, winning 2-0 at home in November.
A lot has changed since then, however and Tottenham come into the match unbeaten in their last eight league fixtures, compared to Arsenal having won just two of their last five. Four points separate the two teams, and below are a few of the key comparisons that could provide the difference come Saturday afternoon.
The two teams sit even on goals scored, both having hit the net 51 times this year. Despite their levelness, Arsenal have shot the ball fewer times, leading to a better shot-to-goal ratio. Similarly, the Gunners have created less chances than their rivals, but have more assists to their name.
These stats don't provide much insight into who has the advantage going into Saturday, yet two other key comparisons sit in the attacking forces of both squads. Dele Alli and Aaron Ramsey are both instrumental in pushing their teams forward, operating from midfield.
Ramsey has one more goal in the year with less shots, yet Alli leads the way in assists between the two. Ramsey has also completed more passes, and at a higher rate of accuracy as well. The Welshman has also been more effective when pushing forward alone, completing 80% of his dribbles compared to Alli's 39% success rate.
Perhaps the key comparison between the two squads are the two creators-in-chief, the players in the driving seats of most attacks. Christian Eriksen and Mesut Özil are two of the Premier League's most creative players, and are essential to their squad's success each match.
With seven goals to his name, Eriksen is out-pacing Özil in scoring, yet the fact he's registered nearly twice as many shots shows how much more attacking freedom he has than the German midfielder. Özil has been arguably better with the ball at his feet, completing more passes per match at a higher accuracy, in addition to having a higher rate of successful dribbles.
|Passes per match||87||82|
|Dribble success rate||71%||53%|
While these three comparisons may not have set one team apart from the other, the strikers at the top of each lineup certainly provide some differences. Tottenham's attacking force has the ability to play through goal-machine Harry Kane, who has more than twice as many goals as anyone at Arsenal this year.
New Arsenal signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are looking to continue their hot starts in their first North London Derby, wanting to provide even more of an instant impact. Despite the varied form between the two clubs, this North London Derby will surely still have the drama, passion, and rivalry it's famous for.
Data Courtesy of EA Sports, the Lead Partner of the Premier League