Arsenal attacker Santi Cazorla says his side must beat Tottenham on Sunday to keep their Champions League hopes alive.
The Gunners head into the north London derby at White Hart Lane in fifth place in the Premier League and four points behind their third-placed rivals.
Arsenal have never failed to finish in the top four under manager Arsene Wenger and, with the club’s trophy drought likely to stretch to eight years this term, Cazorla said they must not fail to qualify for Europe’s premier cup competition.
“We know how important it is and I hope we can rise to the challenge,” the former Malaga man told reporters.
“To beat them and get into the top four and the Champions League, which is our aim for the season, is essential.
“It is very important, not just because it is a great rivalry or that it is Tottenham versus Arsenal but the fact that they are a side with great players who are fighting with us for a top-four spot.”
Arsenal were 5-2 winners in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium earlier this season, with Cazorla among the scorers for the hosts.