Arsenal must park Spurs rivalry to focus on PL title – Arteta

Mikel Arteta said on Friday that Arsenal need to “put their rivalry with Tottenham aside” and focus on securing the victory they need to stay in the Premier League title race.

Arsenal will face a hostile atmosphere on Sunday at the home of their fiercest enemies as they aim to temporarily return to the top of the table with Manchester City playing later on Sunday at Nottingham Forest.

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Spurs will be motivated by attempting to stop their north London rivals from winning their first League title since 2004, but Arteta said: “I think it’s an unbelievable atmosphere. We played there a few times already and it’s a great place to play football.

“We have to put the rivalry aside and we have to live the game with passion and the intensity that it demands rather than anything special because the game has everything you need to enjoy it.”

Spurs will have had 15 days without a game, during which time Arsenal have played four times, losing at home to Aston Villa, exiting the Champions League quarterfinals at Bayern Munich before two wins against Wolves and Chelsea.

Arteta played down the prospect of their recent schedule being a disadvantage, adding: “I love the fact that we played four games. We had some great experiences. It’s been a really demanding week. We had some great results in the last two. That has boosted the confidence of everybody. We’re in a good place.”

Arsenal will need to find a way to subdue Tottenham captain Son Heung-Min, who scored twice for Spurs in the reverse fixture earlier in the season.

Son, though, has said that a youthful Spurs team can learn a great deal from facing “one of the best teams in the world.”

“I think it will be a good test for our team,” Son said. “Obviously we’re very young and we’re still a little bit inexperienced because we’re building a young team with new experiences.

“Some of them are in their first season in the Premier League. So look, we can test ourselves against one of the biggest teams in Europe and the Premier League. But also in the world.

“So I think it’s very important the way we play. Stick to our play, stick to our game. I think it’s a very, very good test. As I said, it’s against one of the best teams in the world so it’s perfect [for us]. You want to always have good competition and you always want to face the best teams in the world.”

Meanwhile, Tottenham and Arsenal are battling to sign West Ham teenager Daniel Rigge, sources have told ESPN.

The 18-year-old signed his first professional contract in October — and his existing deal will still have two years left to run this summer — but the attacking midfielder has attracted interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

Spurs are said to be leading the race for his signature but Arsenal and Manchester United are among the sides tracking Rigge, who has impressed as West Ham sit second in the Premier League under-18s table, two points behind leaders Chelsea.

Rigge, who has 11 goals and 9 assists in 18 games for the U18s, was released by City after coming through their academy ranks before joining West Ham in 2022.