Arsenal v Tottenham: Pochettino wants to make history

Mauricio Pochettino wants to begin reshaping the history of the north London derby when he takes his Tottenham side to Arsenal on Saturday.

The Argentine is preparing for his first taste of this famous fixture since being appointed Spurs coach in May and his side have the weight of history against them.

Spurs have occupied Arsenal's shadow for almost the entirety of the Premier League era, having finished above their bitter rivals just twice in that time, most recently in the 1994-95 campaign.

Pochettino is hoping to orchestrate a changing of the guard, though, starting with the short trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Asked at his pre-match news conference about finishing above Arsenal, the 42-year-old responded: "We are ambitious.

"We [the coaching team] arrived three months ago and we need to make our way but we are focused on the game and know the history. But it is also important to write the history, starting now.

"This is a big game, a tough game, I know. It is always an important game. We need to prepare for the game, to have a good performance and be aggressive."

Spurs' form heading in the crunch clash can best be described as mixed, although they did end a four-match winless run in all competitions by coming from behind to defeat Nottingham Forest 3-1 in the League Cup on Wednesday.

Pochettino rested several star names for that match and is likely to revert to a more familiar XI against Arsenal, but full-back Kyle Walker (pelvis) remains sidelined.

Arsenal, too, have been somewhat inconsistent in the early throes of the campaign.

Arsene Wenger's men, who are unbeaten in the Premier League this season, scored three goals in just over three first-half minutes in a fine showing in the 3-0 victory at Aston Villa last Saturday.

However, in the matches sandwiching that win Arsenal were outplayed in a 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat at Borussia Dortmund and dumped out of the League Cup by Southampton - albeit the latter with a much-changed side.

Wenger has cause for optimism, though, with Arsenal enjoying plenty of success in matches against Tottenham.

Spurs' last victory at the Emirates came in November 2010 when a second-half revival earned a 3-2 triumph, but Arsenal have won the following three home league encounters against Tottenham - with two of those clashes ending in 5-2 wins.

Indeed, the teams met on three occasions last term with Arsenal coming out on top each time and Tottenham failing to score.

Wenger is set to welcome Mathieu Flamini back into his squad after the midfielder missed the last two fixtures with a dead leg, but the likes of Theo Walcott (knee), Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Debuchy (both ankle) and Nacho Monreal (back) remain absent.