‘It is more than a game’ – Lloris ready for Tottenham-Arsenal clash

The goalkeeper has played up the North London derby, a week after his manager indicated Chelsea were greater foes

Hugo Lloris has called this Sunday’s North London Derby “more than a game” as Tottenham travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal.

It is the second London derby in as many weeks for Spurs, after they defeated Chelsea 3-1 at Wembley last Saturday.

That victory not only inflicted on the Blues their first defeat of the season but also moved Spurs past them, up to third in the table.

Prior to that match, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino indicated Chelsea had become bigger rivals for the club than Arsenal due to the Gunners struggles in recent years, but Lloris made no effort to downplay how big the match will be for the London sides and their supporters.

“We know it is more than a game for both clubs and for both [groups of] fans,” Lloris said.

“Now we have time to recover and to prepare as well as possible but that type of game you play more with passion and desire.

“It is the type of game we all want to play and we are all excited to play.”

Arsenal enter the match in fifth, a point off Chelsea in fourth place.

But new manager Unai Emery has the Gunners in fine form, with Arsenal unbeaten since the second Premier League matchday of the season and looking to pull level on points with Spurs with a victory.

Lloris is looking forward to that challenge, noting Arsenal’s form should make for an excellent contest.

“It is going to be interesting to face Arsenal this season with a new manager,” he said.

“They have a good energy and they have had some very good results in the last few weeks so it is going to be a very good game for both teams.”

Like their London rivals Tottenham had a few missteps at the start of the season, but have come into fine form in recent months.

A 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool in mid September was a low point, but since, Spurs have won seven of eight Premier League games and are on a six-game winning streak in all competitions since a 1-0 loss to Manchester City at the end of October.

And Lloris sees it as a positive, believing the top four is a more likely goal than the title, given the difficult situation the club faces without their new stadium completed.

“We are building our season step by step,” Lloris said. “The main target is to keep our place in the top four.

“You need to accept the context. It is still one more season [of being] homeless. We need to deal with Wembley [for] another season. We don’t know until when.

“It demands a lot of energy but we are ready to deal with that. We have no choice.

“We will see where we will be in the second part of the season, if we still have a chance or not.

“But for me, Liverpool and Man City are both favourites for the title.

“We will see because a lot of things can happen, especially during the Boxing Day. Many teams lose chances and lose points.”

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