It is extremely rare to see north London’s biggest clubs face off in a non-competitive game. Not since 1990 have Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur done battle pre-season.
That will all change on Sunday when the two sides clash as part of The Mind Series of friendlies, that is aiming to raise money for the mental health charity.
Both Nuno Espirito Santo and Mikel Arteta will have the chance to cast a closer eye over their players and new summer additions ahead of making an impact in the 2021/22 Premier League season.
So while, on paper, it may well be classed as a ‘friendly’, that won’t stop Ben Davies from taking the game as seriously as any other North London Derby.
“If you play teams like Arsenal, Chelsea… there is no ‘friendly’ feel about these matches,” Davies told the club’s official website.
“It is going to be a competitive game and we all want to win as it puts down a marker for the season.”
The Welsh defender only recently returned to training following his campaign with the Red Dragons at Euro 2020.
He was subbed on against Chelsea on Wednesday night, in Spurs’ first Mind Series game, helping his team fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2, and even saw a shot blocked off the line by Ethan Ampadu.
“I thought we played much better in the second half at Chelsea, we dug in, and that was a decent result in the end, especially with players still to come back into the team,” he said.
His attention is all on Arsenal now, though, and the 28-year-old is hoping the home support will give himself and his teammates the extra edge.
“It’s a long time since we’ve played in front of a big crowd at the stadium and we’re all looking forward to having them back in there,” he said. “Not least for a North London Derby!”
Source by Football London