Mauricio Pochettino has called on his Tottenham players “to fight for every ball” in Saturday evening’s north London derby against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
The 42-year-old Argentinian tactician will sample his first taste of a derby clash against Arsene Wenger’s Gunners who have enjoyed the upper hand in these games when on home soil as Spurs have not won in their neighbour’s backyard since November 2010.
However Pochettino, who departed Southampton to take over at White Hart Lane in the summer, is relishing walking into a hostile atmosphere at the Emirates and he is looking for his players to be up for the battle.
“Playing Arsenal is not another game – it’s impossible to think it is,” said.
“I know the feeling of our supporters and we need to relay this feeling on the pitch.
“It’s our responsibility to fight for every ball. Our supporters expect that of us. If we do then the result may arrive for us.
“I’m stronger with hostile situations. It’s not strange for me. I like it.”
Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, Christian Eriksen, Erik Lamela and Nacer Chadli are all likely to be recalled to the Spurs attack after being rested for the Capital One Cup win against Nottingham Forest in midweek, but Kyle Walker misses out as he recovers from surgery on an abdominal injury.
Spurs are on offer at 4.74 to win the derby, while Arsenal are the 1.77 favourites and the draw is priced at 3.65.