Martin Odegaard opened up on Arsenal's Champions League impetus
“Maybe we’re a bit ahead of schedule, but still we haven’t done anything. We have to finish it and get into the top four, so that’s the focus now and I think we’re doing well.
“We have to show it in the last games and finish the job. We have to make sure we finish top four, and if we do that then we deserve it. I think we’re ready for it and we have to fight for it, so we’ll see.”
Arsenal created major controversy by getting the original North London derby date postponed back in January. They only had one positive case in the squad, which was depleted by injuries rather than Covid, leaving Tottenham furious.
However, Arsenal still felt aggrieved from their start to the season, when Covid ripped through the squad and the players sat in a hotel room at 3.30pm on the afternoon of the Brentford season opener unsure whether it would go ahead. That undoubtedly played into their request in January.
It will only add extra spice to a North London derby with so much at stake. Tottenham have to win while an Arsenal victory will clinch a top-four place, but a draw will still keep them in the box seat.
Arteta added: “It's true that it's many months ago since that game, we are much closer to the end of the season and the game has taken a much different level of importance because of the situation that we both are in.”
It could be the biggest derby at White Hart Lane since Arsenal won the title in 2004 but could also be the most evenly-contested under the lights since the Littlewoods Cup semi-final replay in 1987, when George Graham’s side won, going on to lift the trophy and usher in an era of success.
Arsenal (probable XI): Ramsdale; Cedric, Holding, Gabriel, Tomiyasu; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Nketiah.