Tottenham’s Ben Davies begins North London derby mind-games with warning to Arsenal

Tottenham host Arsenal in the North London derby on Thursday night knowing only victory will suffice in their quest to finish in the Champions League places

Ben Davies has been an integral part of Antonio Conte’s defence so far this season

Image: PA)

Ben Davies is adamant the north London derby can still be massive, even though Arsenal hold a huge advantage in the chase for fourth place.

The Spurs defender insists the showdown at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium can still be decisive, even if their neighbours and bitter rivals have a four point breathing space in the fight for the Champions League. With three games still to go for both clubs, Davies believes there can be more twists in the fight for the top four – with Chelsea also still in that mix after their poor run of late.

“It’s a massive game. Look, we can only do what we can control, and Arsenal have been on a fantastic run,” he said, after the Gunners extended the gap between the two clubs to four points after their win over Leeds. “But you can’t hide from that but there is a lot of pressure to keep it up and do it in the remaining games.

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“We have to control what we can, try and win the game and try to win our remaining games and even then it’s not in our hands but we will see what happens.”

Arsenal seemed to struggle under pressure as they let 10 man Leeds fight back to 2-1, and Davies believes a win for Spurs can change the course of their campaign.

“It has been building up to this for a while now. Ever since it got postponed we were looking to when this game would come because we knew it would be important in the context of the season. For us now Thursday is huge. We know what we have to do going into it. There’s no hiding from that. We have to go out there and put in a similar performance to the game at Liverpool.”

Spurs can now even overhaul Chelsea if there are any major slip-ups from the west London club, and Davies believes his team have shown, under Antonio Conte, they have the quality to compete with Europe’s best.

“I’d like to think the performance at Liverpool shows we are going in the right direction, no matter what happens,” he added. “We have to be competitive against the best teams. I think we’ve shown that this year. We’ve got to up our consistency, we struggled with that for a while but yeah we have to take the positives from results like Liverpool.”

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