Per Mertesacker: Arsenal must keep Tottenham Hotspur quiet
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker says the Gunners must prevent Tottenham Hotspur taking Champions League step
Per Mertesacker says Arsenal must keep their derby rivals Tottenham Hotspur quiet in the race for a top-four finish.
The Gunners host Spurs at The Emirates on Sunday following their 5-1 Champions League humiliation against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
Tottenham, meanwhile, edged to a 2-1 victory over Belgian side Anderlecht courtesy of goals from Harry Kane and Mousa Dembele at White Hart Lane on Thursday night.
While second-placed Arsenal are five points clear of Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino’s side are unbeaten in the Premier League since a 2-0 loss to Manchester United on the opening day of the season.
Germany international Mertesacker warned Arsenal that Tottenham are ready to take the next step in their pursuit of Champions League football.
“Tottenham are always competing for the top spots, always reaching the Europa League. They want the next step into the Champions League spots. Our job is to keep them quiet as much as we can,” Metesacker told Sky Sports.
“They have learned as well they do not want to be a Europa League team anymore, they want to be a Champions League team.
“Both teams are very successful in the Premier League in recent weeks, so now is a good time to go head-to-head. I think us being at home hopefully gives us that energy we need.
“They are important games and a special atmosphere. That extra per cent you give during that game, the extra per cent you get from the fans. As long as you are winning it is a good day.”
Arsenal have won their last five Premier League games after beating Leicester City, Manchester United, Watford, Everton and Swansea City.