This weekend sees the return of the North London derby and the stakes have never been higher.
A win for the Gunners would draw them level with Tottenham in the title race but lose and Arsene Wenger’s men will fall six points behind their bitter rivals and can all but kiss goodbye to their championship aspirations.
As with any derby, however, there is more than points at stake as bragging rights and the chance to carve your name into either club’s history are also up for grabs.
The likes of Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott will be vying to help their respective teams claim an historic win but score a couple of goals and they could find themselves on the way to breaking into the top five scorers in this fixture since the dawn of the Premier League era.
Here’s the top five as it stands, with honourable mentions to the clutch of players missing out with just four goals.
Gareth Bale – Tottenham – 5 goals
Bale may have regretted his move to the capital at first having gone 40+ games without a win for Spurs but after Harry Redknapp pushed him higher up the pitch the Welshman quickly became one of the sport’s hottest properties and this was always evidenced in the derby.
On his way to becoming the world’s most expensive player Bale smashed five goals past the Gunners, putting him ahead of Ian Wright, Patrick Vieira, Freddie Ljungberg, Rafael van der Vaart and Theo Walcott.
Robin van Persie – Arsenal – 5 goals
RVP’s name may be mud amongst Gooners now after he deserted the Emirates to go and win the title with Manchester United but the Dutchman was idolised during his Arsenal career and with five strikes against the Lilywhites it’s easy to see why.
The hitman helped himself to a brace in a 3-0 win in 2009 and was on the scoresheet again in the 5-2 rout that had Gunners fans buzzing back in 2012.
Thierry Henry – Arsenal – 5 goals
Not only did the talismanic Frenchman grab five goals against the Spurs during his Arsenal career but Henry was never on the losing side of a north London derby.
This is a fact that pleases the strike ace to this day and he carved his name into this fixture’s history with this epic strike…
Robert Pires – Arsenal – 7 goals
As someone arguably more famed for creating rather than scoring goals Pires’ position on this list might come as a surprise but the Frenchman simply loved playing against Spurs.
Like Henry Pires was never on the losing side in this fixture but the wideman went one better and ensured he rubbed Spurs fans the wrong way by netting in all but one game he played at White Hart Lane – his derby debut in 2000.
Emmanuel Adebayor – Arsenal/Tottenham – 8 goals
He may top the list but Adebayor is probably not welcome in either half of north London having signed for Spurs after leaving Arsenal and not really giving his all to the Tottenham cause thereafter.
However, with eight goals to his name no one has had more say in the outcome of this fixture over the years and while neither set of fans will claim Adebayor as a club hero Arsenal had the best of the Togolese hitman as he lost both of his derbies as a Spurs man (5-1 and 5-2) despite scoring each time.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing.