Over the years, the North London derby is a fixture that has provided great moments and bragging rights for which team came out on top.
The countdown is now on, with just six days until the first North London Derby of the season between Arsenal and Tottenham.
The fierce rivals will lock horns at the Emirates on Sunday in one of the most keenly anticipated fixtures of the season so far.
The game promises to be entertaining as both sides will be going into the game off the back of a defeat.
Arsenal losing 3-1 against Liverpool having won both of their first two games, while Tottenham have four points from their first three games after a surprise 1-0 defeat at home against Newcastle on Sunday.
Two players that shone for their respective clubs despite the defeats are Nicolas Pepe and Lucas Moura.
Both wingers will be looking to impose themselves hugely this season and what better fixture to do that than the North London derby.
Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe has shown flashes of brilliance indicating he could be devastating when he hits top gear – Lucas Moura, on the other hand, is being rewarded for his heroics from last season but sees his position under threat if his consistency can not be accounted for.
That being said, both players will be very key in determining the outcome of the game come Sunday.
This statistical analysis compares the stats of Nicolas Pepe and Lucas Moura, showing which winger is better at his job.
The season is still relatively new and most of their stats will be from last season to get a more conclusive result.
With no much debate, Nicolas Pepe by far comes out on top in this aspect.
The Ivorian had a stellar campaign last term and only very few wingers could boast of better numbers.
Nicolas Pépé’s 2018-19 Ligue 1 season by numbers:
118 total shots
108 fouls won
102 take-ons completed
70 chances created
A move to the Premier League could be close. ? pic.twitter.com/BkXoTehDCz
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 27, 2019
Pepe scored an impressive 22 goals last season. His 22 goal tally in the French League alone was better than Lucas Moura had in all competitions combined (15).
While Pepe significantly had more minutes to play (3332 compared to Moura’s 2128 minutes), the goal expectancy shows Pepe averaged a goal every 151 minutes and by far dwarfs the Brazilian’s average of a goal every 212 minutes.
Talking about assists, Pepe again comes out on top with a huge landslide. His 11 assists last season is 11 greater than that of Moura who had no assists in all competitions.
Indicating Pepe is more of a team player than the Spurs man and on a day when he doesn’t score he can still contribute with an assist.
That’s a goal for the Ivorian every 151 minutes, and an assist every 302 minutes, and one or the other every 100.9 minutes. Very impressive stats any attacking player will be proud of – especially coming from the flanks.
The 24-year-old also took 3.1 shots per game and averagely made 1.8 key passes per game. Again, he is by far better off compared to Moura’s 1.4 shots per game and average of 0.8 key passes as well.
This summarizes the simple fact that Pepe is a much better attacking option than the Brazilian. He could as well offer a different solution on a day when any of the Arsenal strikers are having a tough ride upfront.
Perhaps not as much as important a context, considering the players in question are attackers.
It is, however, important to note that Lucas Moura is a much better option with regards to defensive qualities.
The Brazilian makes a superior 1.1 tackles per game compared to Pepe’s 0.7 tackles in the same frame.
Lucas Moura also wins the race in interceptions per game. His 0.8 average considerably ups on Pepe’s 0.3 interceptions per game.
Pepe does slightly come out on top with clearances as his 0.2 average per game narrowly edges out Moura at 0.1 clearances per 90 minutes.
Both players might not have the best passing numbers but Pepe again comes out on top in this regard.
Arsenal’s record signing made an average 1.8 key passes per game with a pass accuracy of 79.1%.
Moura, on the other hand, made a way less 0.8 key passes per game and also falls behind Pepe with a pass accuracy of 76.1%.
And if you’re thinking the Ivorian only boasts better numbers because of the League he played in, a look at the current season’s numbers will help quash such thoughts. Both players have improved their accuracy but Pepe still leads the way regardless.
Pepe in only 154 minutes for Arsenal this season has made a decent 1.3 key passes per game and has seen his accuracy improve to 84.5%. His numbers still prove greater than Moura’s 1 key pass per game so far and a pass accuracy of 82.9%(in 214 minutes).
Statistically speaking, Pepe is a better distributor of the ball than Moura in any regard at all.
Pepe’s natural ability to easily breeze past defenders is a huge asset that makes him unpredictable and tough to defend against.
Last season, he made a remarkable 2.7 dribbles per 90 minutes which is almost double that of Moura at 1.7 dribbles per game.
Impressive right? Well yes, but a scary thought that he has upped his game even further.
In less than 180 mins played for Arsenal this season, the Ivorian now has made an average of 3.7 dribbles per game which still by far betters that of the Brazilian at 2 dribbles per game.
Nicolas Pepe: Completed more dribbles vs Liverpool (7) than any player has managed in a Premier League match this season
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 25, 2019
It’s no surprise he’s currently the joint-leader for take-ons and was the first player to breeze past Van Dijk in the Dutchman’s last 50 Premier League games.
Most take-ons completed after GW3 of the 2019-20 Premier League season:
• Nicolas Pépé (12)
• Mateo Kovacic (12)
• James Maddison (11)
• Wilfried Zaha (11)
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— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 25, 2019
It’s fair to say Pepe is easing up to life in England and the only thing lacking is some goals to back up his impressive start so far.
In due time, when he hits top form we could well see yet a repeat of his last season’s form or perhaps even better considering the crop of players he’ll now be playing with.
Lucas Moura as well has shown time and time why he deserves to be starting for Spurs and has made himself a key figure in no time.
The North London derby promises to be an interesting one and of course both teams will be counting on both players for some creativity and firepower upfront.