Tottenham are top of the table since last season - now Mauricio Pochettino must turn that consistency into titles

ALEX YOUNG
REUTERS

Tottenham head into Sunday's north London derby looking to finally get rid of the biggest Premier League hoodoo hanging over their head, and end Arsenal's bragging rights in the process.

The Gunners have finished above Spurs for the previous 21 years, Arsene Wenger's entire reign, but three points at White Hart Lane will confirm - with four matches still to play - the removal of that particular monkey from their collective back.

For the second season running Spurs host their rivals as favourites and, while last season's final-day collapse to allow Arsenal to overtake them is virtually impossible, anything but three points in what is expected to be the final derby at the Lane will be disappointing.

Mauricio Pochettino appears to have Arsenal's number, having never lost a league game to the Gunners in five games.

In the six games previous, Spurs lost five. Pochettino has introduced a steel and consistency into Tottenham's most 'Spursy' of runs.

Wednesday's hard-fought win over Crystal Palace was Tottenham's eighth in a row in the league, a run only achieved twice before; the title-winning seasons of 1950/51 and 1960/61.

In years gone by Christian Eriksen's 30-yard effort would not have bounced before Wayne Hennessey and into the net, a weaker Spurs would have likely lost and any title race would be over.

Since the start of last season, Spurs reign supreme in England. Still without a league title in 56 years but boasting a better record than their fellow top-flight rivals by 11 points.

EPL | The Premier League table since August 2015

Pos Team P W D L GD Pts
1 Tottenham 71 41 21 9 81 144
2 Man United 72 37 22 13 43 133
3 Man City 71 38 17 16 58 131
4 Arsenal 70 38 17 15 53 131
5 Chelsea 71 37 17 17 46 128
6 Liverpool 72 35 21 16 41 126
7 Leicester 72 33 19 20 17 118
8 Everton 73 28 24 21 29 108
9 Southampton 70 29 16 25 13 103
10 West Ham 72 26 22 24 -1 100
11 Stoke 72 24 18 30 -27 90
12 West Brom 71 22 21 28 -17 87
13 Watford 71 23 16 32 -27 85
14 Crystal Palace 72 22 14 36 -20 80
15 Bournemouth 72 21 17 34 -36 80
16 Swansea 72 21 15 36 -39 78
17 Sunderland 72 14 18 40 -50 60

It would be remiss to ignore Chelsea's dire displays last season as defending champions aiding this achievement, but it is impressive nonetheless.

Last Sunday in the FA Cup semi-final against the title favourites would have been a perfect opportunity to lay down another marker. Coming from behind to equalise twice is one thing, conceding four at next season's 'home' is quite another. Sunday they can go again.

It is with natural progression that Spurs have already bagged a record points total and goal haul this season, having moved from fifth, with 64 points, in Pochettino's first season to third, and points 70, in his second.

It is to be expected that a stagnating Gunners were to be overtaken sooner rather than later.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes