Published On: Sat, Nov 17th, 2012

Wenger: local derbies will be the key to Arsenal’s season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that the outcome of his team’s season will rest largely on matches against north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

With Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs widely expected to fill the top three Premier League positions this season, Arsenal and Tottenham could find themselves fighting for the final Champions League place.

Wenger said: “They [Tottenham] are always a team who are fighting with us now and what’s important in the end is consistency.

“The results in the derbies can have a big influence on the Champions League qualifying spot.”

Since the Frenchman took charge of the Reds in 1996 his team has never failed to finish above the White Hart Lane club in the League.

However, recent seasons have seen a revitalised Spurs and last season Arsenal had to claw back a 10-point deficit to finish above the Lilywhites.

Wenger’s comments were echoed by Tottenham manager Andre Villas Boas, who claimed that his side must finish above Arsenal to secure a top four position.

Recent seasons have seen some thrilling encounters between the two clubs, and last season Tottenham surrendered a two goal lead to lose 5-2 to their local rivals.

Ahead of today’s match at the Emirates, Arsenal sit a point behind Spurs in the league, but a win will move them above Villas Boas’ team.

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