London: Tottenham Hotspur will be without Ryan Mason, Nabil Bentaleb and Mousa Dembele against Arsenal in the third round of the League Cup later on Wednesday and the significance of the contest is not lost on manager Mauricio Pochettino.
"Mason, Bentaleb and Mousa are out but they are close to being back in the team," the former Southampton manager said of the injured trio ahead of the North London derby, one of the fiercest in English football.
In their 12 League Cup meetings, the Gunners prevailed six times and Tottenham won on three occasions, while the rest ended in a draw.
Pochettino, however, has never lost to Arsenal since his arrival last season, registering a draw and a win in their last two league meetings.
The last time Spurs won a trophy, they beat Arsenal 5-1 in the second leg of the 2007-08 League Cup semi-final, and ran out 6–2 winners on aggregate.
"When you play against Arsenal it`s always an important game -- a special game -- whether you are playing in the FA Cup, League Cup or the Premier League," Pochettino told reporters.
"It`s a derby for us and the supporters and for that we want to win," he said.
His counterpart Arsene Wenger is keen to build momentum after suffering successive losses at the hands of Chelsea in the league and Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League.
"Every single game that you play you want to win but especially this one," Wenger said.
"It is a bit more special because it`s always a big meaning. We want to get back into winning habits and that`s why the momentum is even more important for us," the Frenchman added.