‘Arsenal win is absolutely vital’ - Robin van Persie believes only a victory will suffice against Tottenham

The Dutch striker, who is top scorer in the Premier League with 22 goals, believes the Gunners need to defend their Champions League position with all three points on Sunday

Prolific Arsenal striker Robin van Persie believes only a victory against Tottenham will suffice in Sunday’s north London derby.

Spurs sit third in the Premier League and the Gunners are in fourth, with 10 points separating the two sides with the away side hoping to claim their first league double over their rivals since the 1992-93 season.

The 28-year-old believes the game has added importance because Spurs are so far ahead of their biggest rivals.

This season’s top scorer in the top flight with 22 goals after 25 games told the club’s official website: “What better way to set things straight again than to beat Spurs?

“I’d rather be playing them now than on any other day, and we know that a win is absolutely vital.

“I don’t think anybody would deny that Spurs have a really good side – and they’ve added consistency this season.

“They’re winning the tougher games and, as a result, have made that next step towards the top teams. 

“Spurs have invested a lot of money over the past few years, and when you look at the figures it’s reflected in their league position.

“Quality players like [Rafael] Van der Vaart, [Emmanuel] Adebayor, [Gareth] Bale, [Luka] Modric and [Aaron] Lennon will win you games when the going gets difficult – any one of them can step up and make the difference at a given time.”

The Dutch striker wants Arsenal to pull away from fellow Champions League qualification hopefuls Newcastle United, Chelsea and push towards Harry Redknapp’s side with a win.

“They’re above us for the first time in many years but it’s in our hands to change the way things are going, win the game and start moving closer to them,” the Gunners captain continued.

“A draw will not be a good result for us [on Sunday], either in our bid to catch up with Spurs or in our efforts to fight off our other challengers for a Champions League place.”