Premier League - Matchpack: Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur

Team news, manager quotes and match facts ahead of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium.

TEAM NEWS

Arsenal will assess the fitness of several first-team players. They include striker Olivier Giroud (hamstring/calf) and winger Theo Walcott (buttock muscle). Midfielder Mikel Arteta (hip) is another causing concern, along with full-back Bacary Sagna (leg), but goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is close to a comeback from his ankle problem and could be included in the team for the first time since September. Midfielder Jack Wilshere will be available again after suspension. Winger Gervinho (ankle), defender Kieran Gibbs (thigh), midfielder Abou Diaby (thigh) and Czech midfielder Tomas Rosicky (hamstring) all continue rehabilitation.

Tottenham playmaker Mousa Dembele is out with a hip injury. Aaron Lennon has recovered from a hamstring injury, and Jermain Defoe and Kyle Walker, who also had hamstring complaints, should be fit to play. Long-term absentees Scott Parker (Achilles), Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Younes Kaboul (both knee) remain sidelined.

MANAGER QUOTES

Arsene Wenger: "My chairman knows how much the game means to me and everybody at the club ... I like to get up in the morning and play football. The earlier, the better. We are not in a desperate situation. The season will be what we make of it now. It's important that we express our qualities."

Andre Villas-Boas: "We have to (finish above Arsenal). It is possible to bridge the gap. We are looking at trying to shorten the gap and not letting it grow. To play for fourth spot is difficult bearing in mind the competition you have to overcome. It's possible to bridge it. Arsenal have won trophies in recent times and they have qualified for the Champions League more often. That is where we want to be in the future. We're getting nearer."

MATCH FACTS

Arsenal versus Tottenham has seen more draws in Premier League history than any other fixture (17).

The Gunners have won just two of the last eight Premier League games against Spurs (W2 D3 L3).

In the last two meetings between Spurs and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, a team has taken a 2-0 lead and then gone on to lose the match (Spurs won 3-2 in 2010-11 and Arsenal 5-2 in 2011-12).

Gareth Bale has scored three goals against Arsenal, his joint-highest tally against any opponent in the competition (along with Wigan).

Theo Walcott has scored three goals against Tottenham, his joint-highest tally against any opponent in the competition (along with Blackpool).

Emmanuel Adebayor has played in this fixture 11 times in all competitions scoring nine and assisting four goals (for Arsenal eight goals two assists, for Spurs one goal, two assists).

There have been 23 goals scored in the last four Premier League games between Spurs and Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium and nine of the last 10 meetings in all competitions have seen at least three goals scored.

There have been five penalties in the last five meetings in all competitions between Spurs and Arsenal, with Tottenham winning one spot-kick in three of the last four league games.

This is Arsenal’s worst start to a league season since 1982-83 when they had just 14 points after 11 games.

Arsenal have won just two of their last eight Premier League games at the Emirates, taking 10 points from a possible 24.

Tottenham’s next Premier League win will be their 300th in the competition.

MATCH ODDS

Arsenal 10/11, Tottenham 14/5, Draw 11/4.