English Premiership

Pochettino taunts Arsenal ahead of derby

2016-03-04 13:30
Mauricio Pochettino (TEAMtalk)

London - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has warned Arsene Wenger that Arsenal's wealth of experience will count for nothing in the pressure-packed Premier League title race.

Pochettino's side host the Gunners on Saturday in one of the most eagerly anticipated showdowns between these bitter north London rivals for decades.

With second-placed Tottenham currently three points behind shock leaders Leicester City and three ahead of third-placed Arsenal, the latest battle for north London supremacy will have a significant influence on the outcome of both teams' title bids.

After finishing below Arsenal for the last 20 years, Tottenham are finally in position to turn the tables as they look to win the English title for the first time since 1961 and such is the clamour to see the fixture that tickets are changing hands for up to 800 ($1,135; 1,035 euros) -- nearly 10 times the most expensive face-value price.

Arsenal, who last lifted the Premier League trophy in 2004, are the only side in the top three to have gone through the highs and lows of a title race in recent seasons.

But Pochettino, whose side saw their six-match winning run ended in a 1-0 loss at West Ham United on Wednesday, dismissed the theory that experience could be decisive as he pointed to Arsenal's successive defeats against Manchester United and Swansea City this week.

"It's difficult to know. If they have players that have the advantage to win the title, what happened against Manchester United or Swansea?," Pochettino said.

"Different clubs sometimes sign a player or a manager with a big background or big trophies behind them. Sometimes they have success and sometimes not.

"You never know. Football is not an ordinary business. Anything can happen."

Arsenal appear more vulnerable than ever and the absence of injured duo Petr Cech and Laurent Koscielny will strengthen Tottenham's belief that the balance of power in north London is about to change.

Alexis Sanchez hardly helped Arsenal's predicament when the Gunners winger publicly questioned his team-mates' hunger for success following the dismal Swansea defeat.

"I think we can win the Premier League with the players we have. That said, we lack a certain hunger," Sanchez said.

"We need to step out onto the pitch as if we're already 1-0 up. We lack self-belief, that we can actually be champions."

CONTRASTING EMOTIONS

Following a week of contrasting emotions, Leicester head for Watford on Saturday back in the driving seat in the title race.

The disappointment of a 2-2 draw at home to West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday was followed by the welcome bonus of seeing title rivals Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City all lose 24 hours later.

The upshot was that the Foxes travel to Vicarage Road with only 10 games standing between them and the completion of arguably the most unlikely title triumph in English football history.

"It is a going to be a really tough place to go," Leicester winger Marc Albrighton said of facing Watford.

"They have got some great players, some firepower up top, but we will be confident as ever.

"The season we have had is fantastic. We are not going to let a point at home dampen our confidence."

Manuel Pellegrini has warned his City stars there can be no repeat of their woeful defeat at Liverpool if they are to revive their slender title hopes against Aston Villa.

City's 3-0 loss was their third league defeat in a row and even though the League Cup winners have a game in a hand, bridging a 10-point gap between themselves and Leicester will be a monumental task

"Of course, we cannot play in the way we did. Not only did we concede three goals but we didn't shoot once," Pellegrini said.

"The most important thing is to recover our level of performance in the Premier League because we have lost the last three."

Manchester United, level on points with City in the race for a top-four finish, travel to West Brom on Sunday.

"We are showing passion," United midfielder Ander Herrera said. "I'm optimistic because we can still fight for everything. We want to be in the top four."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Swansea City v Manchester City, Liberty Stadium 21:45
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 21:45
Southampton v Leicester City, St. Mary's Stadium 21:45
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion, Anfield 22:00
West Ham United v Arsenal, London Stadium 22:00
Manchester United v AFC Bournemouth, Old Trafford 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Brighton & Hove Albion, Wembley Stadium 22:00
Saturday, 16 December 2017
Leicester City v Crystal Palace, King Power Stadium 14:30
Stoke City v West Ham United, Bet365 Stadium 17:00
Arsenal v Newcastle United, Emirates Stadium 17:00
Chelsea v Southampton, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Burnley, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Watford v Huddersfield Town, Vicarage Road Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur, Etihad Stadium 19:30
Sunday, 17 December 2017
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United, The Hawthorns 16:15
AFC Bournemouth v Liverpool, Vitality Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.