ARSENAL midfielder Abou Diaby has stoked the flames ahead of Sunday’s crunch match with rivals Tottenham, insisting they hold a psychological edge over their north London neighbours having inflicted back-to-back 5-2 defeats against Andres Villas-Boas’s team.
Spurs go into the game four points clear of Arsene Wenger’s Gunners with the pair currently vying to secure a top four finish and a place in next season’s Champions League.
But Diaby believes history will work in Arsenal’s favour.
“We have a psychological edge, because from the last game against them we took some lessons and we know them well,” he said. “We know how to deal with them.
“We all look forward to these big games because they are not only important to us, but to the club and the fans. It is more than a game.”
Diaby, who has played in 11 north London derbies and lost just twice, anticipates a red hot atmosphere inside White Hart Lane.
But the 26-year-old, who is doubtful for the game with an ankle injury, backs his team-mates to cope with the occasion.
“The atmosphere around the game means we all want to win, so that makes it very exciting,” he said.
“It will be difficult because they have the crowd supporting them. But we just have to deal with that.”
ON DERBY DAY
There has been 53 goals scored in the last 11 games between Tottenham and Arsenal in all competitions.
Spurs have not lost a Premier League game at home to the Gunners since September 2007.
Emmanuel Adebayor has scored 10 goals in 12 north London derbies.