Wenger on Arsenal v Tottenham: We are not the underdogs

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Arsene Wenger doesn’t believe Arsenal are the underdogs heading into Saturday’s North London derby against Tottenham at the Emirates (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

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Despite Spurs finishing above rivals Arsenal in the Premier League table last season, Wenger pointed to that being the first time in 20 years they’d finished below Tottenham in the PL and brushed off talk of a power shift in north London.

Seeming slightly frustrated by the tone of questioning ahead of the game, Wenger doesn’t believe Arsenal are the underdogs.

“No. Not all all. No,” Wenger said. “Tottenham is a good side but we have the quality to win this game and that’s what we want to show. The real motivation for me is to do as well as we have the potential in the team. The target is not to compare to Tottenham.”

So, Arsenal is on the full defensive ahead of this game with goalkeeper Petr Cech also taunting Spurs ahead of the game and pointing towards their lack of trophies won over the pat few years despite their third and second place finishes in the PL.

The truth is, Tottenham have plenty of ground to catch up on Arsenal in terms of trophies, UEFA Champions League success and in terms of the last two decades of finishing below the Gunners. But, why can’t they continue to finish above Arsenal for the foreseeable future? With Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Harry Kane and others far from their peak, plus Mauricio Pochettino committed to the project at Spurs, everything is pointing towards Tottenham finishing above Arsenal for at least the next two seasons.

Maybe that’s what has Wenger and Co. riled up ahead of the massive NLD this weekend. Well, that and every pundit and neutral across the globe currently raving about Spurs young talent, manager, future new stadium and massive potential.