By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Mikel Arteta has urged his Arsenal team-mates to stay cool under pressure in the cauldron of the north London derby.
Arsene Wenger’s team are aiming for their sixth consecutive Premier League triumph at Emirates Stadium today but they know Tottenham are also in good form.
Maurcio Pochettino’s side are sixth in the table, while Arsenal lie second and equal on points with leaders Manchester City, who travel to Aston Villa today.
“We know how Pochettino’s teams play – they are very physical, they will try to press us high up and put us under pressure,” explained Arteta. “They get a lot if bodies in the box, so we expect a tough game.
“It’s important for players to control the occasion. We have a lot of experienced players though, and most of us have played in the derbies before.
“There will be a big atmosphere, the tempo of the game will be high and there will be tackles going in, so you have to make the right decisions on the pitch, otherwise you can cost your team.”
Arteta, who trained fully yesterday and could return to the team after a six-week absence, added that it is essential for Arsenal to continue their excellent home record if they are to challenge for the title.
“Both teams are on a good run in the Premier League, we are both playing well so it should be a great game.
“But we are the home side so we need to be dominant, we need to win the game.
“For me the most important thing is that we continue our run at home. If you want to win the Premier League, your home form is absolutely vital.”