Date: 28th April 2017 at 11:11am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has been holding his pre Tottenham Hotspur press conference today, and he’s expecting an open derby on Sunday.

Heading to White Hart Lane on Sunday for the tie at 4.30pm, Wenger told the Official Site as he met with the media that his ‘buzz’ for the game was as strong as ever and he expected an open and committed performance from both sides on the day.

‘I expect an open match, a committed match, a match with high pace. There could be goals because both teams play positive football, try to go forward and play in an offensive way. Normally that finishes with goals if you look at the quality of players on both sides.’

Having never finished below Tottenham Hotspur during his time in charge at the club over the last 20 years – that obviously became a question given the shape of the Premier League table so far.

‘If, if, if! If, if! It`s true that always in our press conferences we have to respond about if the worst happens what do you do? But let`s make sure that the best happens and give absolutely everything to make sure that we finish in a very strong way to our season.’

To balance things up somewhat following the 2015/16 season, Wenger was asked on whether it’s likely our opposition will ‘implode again’ as the season draws to a close, but as you’d expect, his focus was on Arsenal.

‘No. I focus on Arsenal. What will happen to Spurs, it`s not to me to comment about that. I have to focus on what we can do and how well we can finish the season. We have big Premier League games, we have an FA Cup final to prepare for, so we have to focus absolutely on us and not expect any weakness fro our opponents.’

With the game being the last derby at White Hart Lane, he explained he wasn’t too sentimental about that as it’s not for him at the moment.

‘I`m not in a position today where sentiment comes in too much. Your colleague told me that I`d played 50 London derbies, so of course there were some special ones in there. I`m not in a mode to reflect on that today. Maybe one day I will write a book just about the derbies!’

Asked about Tottenham’s strengths and whether others feel they are favourites, he said.

‘Yes, it`s certainly one of the few times where, if you look at people`s opinions, Spurs are favourites. It looks a bit like that but it doesn`t matter too much to me. The priority for us is to finish in the top four. After that, for the pride and the continuity or our achievements, yes we want to fight to be in front of Spurs. We have to focus on what is really important to us at this moment, which is to finish in the top four.’

Asked about a potential ‘shift in power’.

‘Let`s be honest, I`ve answered that question about a shift in power over 18 consecutive years. Nothing changes in that. You cannot say that the weight of one year has the weight of 20.’

In terms of team news for the tie, Wenger confirmed that Koscienly was probably 60/40 in his chances of making the game after the last match but news yesterday was positive on that score and he’s the only one we have a worry about.

He also confirmed if Koscielny was missing it wouldn’t effect a back three formation.

In other team news, he said Shkodran Mustafi was probably two weeks away from returning, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain would be fit to start the Tottenham game as being on the bench against Leicester was more of a precautionary decision.

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