Officers were seen separating both sets of fans outside of White Hart Lane as kick-off approached in the crucial Premier League clash.
The two groups of fans were split by a line of police in the middle of the road as they exchanged taunts.
Police created a shield around some groups of Arsenal supporters as they walked towards the away turnstiles to avoid incident.
A red smoke bomb was also set off as fans marched down the street.
Officers were deployed on horses as they tried to keep a lid on events.
Tempers did appear to boil over as a one supporter was seen being restrained by police, who were armed with batons and wore protective helmets.
The match is the final derby that is being played in the current White Hart Lane stadium, with Spurs set to play all of their home games at Wembley next season.
They will then move back to the location in a brand new 61,000-seater arena.
Sunday afternoon’s match is important for both teams, with Spurs looking to keep up the pressure on Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title, while Arsenal require a win to keep their top four hopes alive.