Gabriel: Arsenal vs Tottenham is like a war

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The ex-Gunners defender revealed that he was told that he could lose to any other team except Spurs when he arrived in north London

Former Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista believes that the north London derby feels like a war and that facing Tottenham is different than playing any other team.

The 26-year-old left the Emirates for Valencia in August, having spent three years with the Gunners. During that time he won two FA Cup trophies under Arsene Wenger, but despite being in the matchday squad for the 2015 final, says that there is no bigger game for Arsenal than the north London derby.

Arsenal 11/8 v Spurs

“When I played against Tottenham, during the day ahead of the game it felt completely different to playing any other team,” Gabriel told Sky Sports.

“It was a kind of war. As soon as I arrived in London, I was told I could lose to any other team apart from Spurs. 

“Arsenal have got much more history than Tottenham and that means they should be above them. 

“But Spurs have been improving every season and the coach is fantastic and they have great players too.”

Rafael van der Vaart | Tottenham

Netherlands international Rafael van der Vaart lined out for Spurs between 2010 and 2012, and is confident that his former club can win in Saturday's early kick-off.

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He believes it will be a tricky game for Tottenham, but feels that the confidence from beating Real Madrid in the Champions League will give them a boost over their local rivals.

“It’s not easy to win because Arsenal is still a great team, great club,” the 34-year-old told Sky Sports.

“But now Tottenham, winning against Madrid, being in this position, I’m 100 per cent sure that they will win there.”

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