Beating Spurs essential for Arsenal

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla is under no illusions about the magnitude of Sunday's North London derby against Tottenham.

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Arsene Wenger's under-pressure side visit White Hart Lane needing a win to boost their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

A Gareth Bale-inspired Tottenham are among Arsenal's rivals for the top four while Andre Villas-Boas' side also have eyes on second place in the Premier League.

Cazorla, who scored and starred in his North London derby debut when Arsenal won 5-2 for the second successive season at the Emirates in November, is aware of the importance of the game.

The Spaniard said in the Daily Star: "We know how important it is and I hope we can rise to the challenge.

"To beat them and get into the top four and the Champions League, which is our aim for the season, is essential.

"It is very important, not just because it is a great rivalry or that it is Tottenham versus Arsenal but the fact that they are a side with great players who are fighting with us for a top-four spot."


Manager Wenger expects there to be goals galore once more in the upcoming north London derby. The previous two matches between the sides both ended with a 5-2 scoreline in the Gunners' favour. 

"I remember [when there weren’t many goals]," Wenger told Arsenal Player. "The recent ones have been very prolific in goals, especially the two games at the Emirates.

"We will attack, as you know. We will try to score goals, as you know. Therefore, you can see goals again."

At the same time, the Frenchman is confident that his defence can ensure a one-sided contest by keeping it tight at the back. 

"Away from home we have been consistent and strong [this season]. The stats [of having conceded just 11 from 13 away games] will help us to think we can do it again and rely on our strengths.

"We have a good defensive record away from home, because we attack as well. We are focused on playing our game and we want to continue to do that, especially in that game [against Tottenham]."


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