Campbell expects extra 'spice' in crucial north London derby

The north London derby rarely fails to disappoint and Sol Campbell expects a particularly fierce battle when Tottenham entertain Arsenal.

Tottenham striker Harry Kane in action against Arsenal   -  Getty Images

Sol Campbell is expecting extra "spice" in Sunday's north London derby, with Tottenham chasing a crucial win in its pursuit of the Premier League title and Arsenal desperate to rescue a top-four berth.

Spurs, who has won eight straight league games, is four points adrift of leaders Chelsea following its 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Wednesday.

Arsenal has endured another disappointing campaign in terms of its own title aspirations, which has seen the pressure increase on manager Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners beat Leicester City to move to within four points of fourth-placed Manchester City in its increasingly difficult bid to qualify for the Champions League.

Campbell is a man who knows the pressure of playing on both sides of the divide, having controversially swapped Spurs for Arsenal in 2001, and the former England defender is expecting an even more competitive fixture than normal when the teams meet in a crucial encounter at White Hart Lane this weekend.

Speaking to Omnisport, he said: "Do you know what? It's probably going to be now very important for both sides. 

"There will be obviously one side trying to push Chelsea, obviously Tottenham are trying to push them. Then you've got Arsenal, who need to get that fourth spot. 

"It's always competitive, but there will be that knife edge to it - feeling and atmosphere, because both teams need a win. 

"Usually it sometimes peters out as a draw, but this time there is a lot at stake. There is pushing to win the Premiership or pushing for the top four. 

"I think it will definitely be a competitive game. Even more so, that will add to the spice."

Tottenham last finished above its rivals in the Premier League in the 1994-95 season and blew its chance last term after being thrashed 5-1 at Newcastle United on the final day to surrender second spot to Arsenal.

But Campbell says the Gunners' main concern this time around is the top four and not finishing above Mauricio Pochettino's men.

"Tottenham have been pushing for a long time to get that [finish above Arsenal]," he added. 

"They got nipped to that post in the last game of [last] season. Everyone thought they were going to finish [above them] and Arsenal kind of just got there in the end. 

"Somehow, I don't think that's going to happen this time. So the real priority for Arsenal is just to get that fourth spot."

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