The North London Derby returns on Thursday the 12th of May 2022 as Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in the Premier League. The reverse fixture saw Spurs lose 1-3 away at the Emirates Stadium back in September 2021. Coming into this crucial match, Tottenham held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield and Arsenal won 2-1 at home against Leeds United.
Tottenham Hotspur come into this game after holding title chasers, Liverpool, to a 1-1 draw at Anfield. Son Heung-Min scored for Spurs in that match. Tottenham’s record now stands at 19 wins, five draws, and 11 losses, with a goal difference of +20. Spurs have overperformed on their xG output of 55 by netting 60 goals.
Son Heung-Min is Tottenham Hotspur’s most successful threat creator this season in the Premier League, but most of this is from set-pieces. Dane Pierre Emile Hojbjerg is Spurs’ most successful threat producer from open play. Despite arriving only in January, Dejan Kulusevski is Tottenham’s joint-most assist provider, along with Harry Kane, with eight assists each to their name.
Arsenal head into this clash having won 2-1 against Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium. This win extends Arsenal’s gap over Tottenham Hotspur to four points due to the latter drawing against Liverpool. The Gunners’ record now stands at 21 wins, three draws, and 11 losses, with a goal difference of +14. Arsenal have been underperforming in xG as the metric predicted them to net 65 goals, but in reality, the Gunners have netted only 56 goals, nine fewer than expected.
Seen in the above visual is Arsenal’s shot map in the Premier League this season, excluding the penalties. The Gunners have missed a few chances from inside the opposition’s six-yard box. A few big orange circles show that they have squandered some goalscoring opportunities. Overall, Arsenal have netted 55 goals (excluding own goals) from 536 shots, giving them a shot conversion rate of 9.75 shots per goal scored.
The above chart indicates the performances of Arsenal in a few attacking metrics. The Gunners have the third-highest xG per game, fourth-highest goals per game, and fifth-highest xA per game, but only the ninth-highest assists per game. Arsenal also rank fourth in successful passes into the final third per game and shots on target per game.
This North London Derby is a must-win for Tottenham Hotspur if they are to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive. Fortunately, recent history is on Spurs’ side as the Gunners have not won an away North London Derby game since 2015. For Arsenal, on the other hand, should they win, they would surpass Chelsea on the points table.