Match of weekend preview

Mon 17 Dec by Mark Gleeson


It was just over a fortnight ago that Arsenal and their north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur last met in what turned into a rather tempestuous affair from which consequences are still being harvested.Both clubs were charged with failing to control their players after the melee that followed Eric Dier's goal for Spurs during the first half of a match where Arsenal ran out 4-2 winners.The sanction is yet to be handed down, so will not hang over as a deterrent for tomorrow’s (WEDNESDAY) meeting between the pair in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.But what will still be fresh in the minds is the quality of Arsenal’s win at the Emirates Stadium on 2 December. They have home advantage again for this cup tie, which keeps up a fairly regular list of cup clashes between the arch foes.
Arsenal won away in the League Cup in 2015 and at home in the third round of the FA Cup almost five years ago. Spurs’ last won a cup tie against the Gunners almost 11 years ago now in the second leg of their League Cup semifinal, trashing Arsenal 5-1 and going on to win the trophy by beating Chelsea in the final.
That was the last trophy Spurs won, giving added incentive to this season’s quest.That 4-2 defeat was Spurs’ last setback. Since they have beaten Southampton, Leicester City and Burnley and got a 1-1 draw in Barcelona that ensued their progress to the next round of the Champions League.Arsenal twice came from behind at Southampton on Sunday but still lost 3-2 and saw a 22-match unbeaten run since they lost the opening two matches of the season.It is an incredible run that makes clear just how competently Unai Emery has filed the boots of Arsene Wenger in what was always going to be a tough act to follow.But it is still a long way to match the achievements of the Frenchman. Emery will be targeting the League Cup as his first trophy in English football.