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Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino eager to face Arsenal and 'good friend' Unai Emery

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says he and Unai Emery have a "fantastic relationship", but thinks it will be "tough" to beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.
Just three points separate the two sides in the Premier League going into the match, live on Sky Sports, and both went unbeaten in all competitions during November.
It is the first North London derby under Emery's tenure and it sees him reunited on the touchline with a familiar foe in Pochettino, having faced each other numerous times in La Liga for Valencia and Espanyol, respectively.
Sunday's visit to the Emirates will be Pochettino's 10th experience of the derby, but he says the arrival of Emery at Arsenal adds a different element to the tie.
"It will be so different," said Pochettino. "Now we are going to face a good friend in Unai Emery. It will be strange but when we start the game we are going to compete.
"We always had a fantastic relationship when we faced each other in Spain. I wish him all the best here at Arsenal, after our game of course.
"He is doing a fantastic job there. Arsenal have always been a very good team and they had one of the greatest managers ever, but now they have a totally different culture.
"This is my fifth season here so I understand completely what it means. In the last few seasons we have increased the level against the London clubs. But, of course, Arsenal is special and it is important to be ready with the right mentality."
The Tottenham boss' admiration for Emery dates back to 2012 when the then Valencia manager asked the La Liga club to consider Pochettino as his successor.
"I called him to say thank you," Pochettino said. "I am so grateful and it made me feel happy that a colleague recommended me to another team.
"He is an unbelievable manager and it will be tough to play against him."