Per Mertesacker Arsenal Dele Alli Tottenham
Arsenal need to shot a bit of fight and grit in this huge North London Derby against SpursReuters

Here we are then, one day away from possibly the most important North London Derby in English Premier League history, at a time when Arsenal are most definitely in crisis.

Tottenham will go into this derby match at White Hart Lane as the favourites, and rightly so, considering they gave won six of their last seven matches and sit three points ahead of their North London rivals.

While Spurs have thrived under the excellent organisational skills of Mauricio Pochettino, Arsenal have sunk deeper and deeper into a mire, with the players and manager struggling to find a route of escape.

If the result and performance against Manchester United last Sunday was scathing, that was nothing compared to the one against Swansea City at home, and that too a team which had made so many changes to their playing XI, so that they could concentrate on the relegation six-pointer this weekend.

It is quite clear that Arsenal have this mental problem when it comes to handling the pressure. The pressure of a top-four place is fine, but when it gets stepped up a little and it is the Premier League title, that pressure gets too hot to handle.

And at the end of the day, it all comes down to Arsene Wenger. This is the Wenger's team, and if they cannot handle the title pressure against two teams, who have never really threatened for the title in the Premier League era, then any excuse will sound hollow.

Arsenal have failed two tests in a row now, and if they make it a hat-trick of "boy what is going on here" performances, it will be curtains for them as far as this title race is concerned.

While all eyes have been on Leicester City's incredible title challenge, Spurs have snuck in at the back door and now stand just three points behind the leaders. Yes, they failed to cope under the pressure of going top for the first time this season, when they fell to West Ham 1-0 on Wednesday, but Pochettino has moulded such a likeable, well-drilled Spurs unit, that a win over Arsenal on Saturday will almost be expected.

This young Tottenham team look ready for battle, ready to do their manager's bidding and aware of what is required to get the job done. The defence is solid, the midfield quite good and in Harry Kane they have a striker who has stepped up before on the North London Derby occasion.

Arsenal, however, seem to have players, who shrink under the pressure, go into hiding and only return when their top four place is in jeopardy.

Olivier Giroud, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Per Mertesacker – the list of stars is long, but none of them have stepped up so far when the pressure has really been cranked up.

Spurs will be well aware of that fact and expect them to pile on the early pressure on this already-brittle-in-confidence-and-belief Arsenal side, and if they succeed, this could be another one of those days for Arsenal fans to forget.

North London Derby: Tottenham vs Arsenal schedule.

Date: Saturday, March 5.

Time: 6.15 p.m. IST (12.45 p.m. GMT, 7.45 a.m. ET).

Venue: White Hart Lane in London.

TV listings: India: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4. UK: BT Sport 1 and BBC Radio 5 Live (radio). USA: NBCSN, NBC Universo and Westwood One Sports. Australia: Fox Sports 4. Canada: TSN 1, TSN 4 and RDS 2. Middle East and North Africa: Bein Sports Arabia. Germany: Sky Sport 1. Singapore: 102 mio. Thailand: PPTV and CTH. China: PPTV, QQ Sports, Tianjin Sports, LeTV. Hong Kong: Now Sports and LeTV. Indonesia: Bein Sports 3 and Orange TV. Malaysia: Astro Supersport. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport 3.

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