The Premier League’s festive period is usually one of the busiest times of the year, but for many clubs – the two North London sides included – it’s going to be more hectic than usual. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, whose chances of winning the Premier League title have been slashed in the betting exchange, will face a whopping nine games throughout the course of December.
Amongst those games is a thrilling North London Derby, which will take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 5th. Mikel Arteta will be hoping that his side can win away to Spurs for the first time in the league since 2014, when he featured in the 1-0 victory. On the other hand, José Mourinho, who has lost to Arsenal just twice in his career, will be gunning for back-to-back victories over the Gunners.
As the build-up to the big match continues to heat up, let’s take a look at some players who have enjoyed personal success in the North London Derby.
- Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur – 10 goals
With 201 goals in 301 appearances, Harry Kane is Spurs’ all-time top goalscorer, and he’s been a constant thorn in the side for Arsenal over the years. The prolific striker scored twice in his first game against the Gunners, spurring Tottenham on to a 2-1 victory, before scoring a goal in each of their next four encounters. After failing to find the net in a 2-0 defeat back in 2017, Kane went on another goalscoring streak, finding the net in each of the next four games, but that run was ended in their last outing.
- Emmanuel Adebayor – Arsenal & Tottenham – 8 goals
Emmanuel Adebayor is one of just eight players to have played for both clubs in North London and was just the second player to score in the derby for both sides. The Togo international scored six goals in seven games against Spurs whilst at the Arsenal, and when he moved to Tottenham, after a few years at Manchester City – were he famously ran the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the Arsenal fans – he found the net twice against the Gunners. However, both goals came in 5-2 defeats.
- Robert Pires – Arsenal – 8 goals
Arsenal legend Robert Pires was a key factor in the Gunners’ success in the early 2000s, and his eight goals against their bitter rivals makes him the joint-second scorer in the fixture. The World Cup winner faced Spurs 11 times in six years at Arsenal, scoring eight times in that period, including a streak of five goals in four successive games.
- Thierry Henry – Arsenal – 5 goals
Thierry Henry is another Gunners legend to make the list. The French forward scored 228 goals for the club, five of which came in 10 North London Derbies. Henry inspired a 2-1 victory in his first game against Spurs, forcing an own goal before scoring from the spot, to send Arsenal back into the lead late in the first half.
- Robin van Persie – Arsenal – 5 goals
He may not be on every Arsenal fan’s Christmas card list, after his move to Manchester United, but with five goals against Spurs, Robin van Persie features as the joint-third top scorer on our list. It wasn’t until his seventh North London Derby that the Dutch striker got off the mark, scoring in a thrilling 4-4 draw. Four goals in seven games followed.
- Gareth Bale – Tottenham – 5 goals
Whilst Kane will be hoping to find the net for the 11th time in the upcoming derby, Gareth Bale, who re-joined Spurs on loan from Real Madrid, will be hoping to leap above van Persie and Henry with his sixth goal. The Welsh winger scored on his first outing against Arsenal back in 2007 but didn’t find the net again against the Gunners until 2010, when he scored in back-to-back fixtures. After another three games without a goal, Bale scored two-in-two against the Gunners.