Former Tottenham Hotspur captain Ledley King believes home advantage could prove vital when his former team face off against Arsenal in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.The North London rivals have been paired together in Round 3 of the competition, and the midweek fixture will be screened live on Sky Sports in a 7:45pm kick-off.
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It's a fixture that almost always delivers on entertainment and King, who skippered Spurs to glory in the 2008 League Cup, believes the atmosphere at White Hart Lane could give them the edge in the latest clash.
“I know from previous experiences that it won't be comfortable. I've played against Arsenal a number of times where I've thought it's a good time to play them, and it hasn't turned out that way.
“We go up against them on top and we'll be feeling good about ourselves. I felt our performance on Sunday [a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace] was the best of the season so far, but form goes out of the window and being at home for the fixture against your rivals could be the difference.
“The two teams are evenly matched and sometimes you need that little edge, that 12th man, and hopefully that can be the case on Wednesday night.
“It always seems to be a free-flowing game and there's been plenty of goals in these fixtures over the years, which is good for the fans. It's great to watch and I think that's why everyone gets excited whenever Tottenham and Arsenal play each other.
“I'm not sure why it always delivers such entertainment. I've been guilty over the years of making some uncharacteristic errors in these games, you can get caught up in the heat of the atmosphere and the intensity, and that's something the players have to control.”
One of those entertaining encounters came in 2008, when Spurs romped to a memorable 5-1 victory in a League Cup semi-final second leg, earning them a 6-2 aggregate win and booking their place at Wembley.
Spurs went on to lift the trophy with a 2-1 win over Chelsea, and 34-year-old King – now a Spurs ambassador – says there's nothing like a win over your rivals to boost confidence levels in the camp.
“The semi-final in 2008 was just an amazing game. It was one of those where, because of the atmosphere, because of the fans, we just came out on the front foot and never looked back.
“Everything we did went right on the night, and to produce a performance like that against your rivals gave us the belief that we could go on and beat Chelsea in the Final.”
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