Arsenal take on Tottenham in one of the most fierce rivalries in England, the North London derby. It’s 3rd versus 6th as Arsenal remain four points behind their arch-rivals and 12 behind leaders Manchester City. After losing to Manchester City before the international break, ARsenal’s title hopes look bleak but they could at least close the gap on Spurs if they win today.
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Santi Cazorla’s doctor has told the Spaniard that he would be lucky if he ever walks again. Wenger too, claims that this is the worst injury he has ever seen. He has lost 8 centimetres of his Achilles tendon. Olivier Giroud has ruled out with a knee injury as well and his absence will be a blow as Lacazette is a different type of a player, though he is pretty good in his own right.
Danny Welbeck will face a late fitness test but will mostly not start. A big boost for Wenger is that Shkodran Mustafi is set to return after overcoming a long-term injury.
Predicted lineup – (3-4-3)
The experience of Petr Cech could count in a big game. The 35-year old hasn’t been in the best of his form and needs to position himself better.
Nacho Monreal will play as a left centre-back while Laurent Koscielny with his strength, decision making skills and game-reading abilities will cover the right side of the back three. Shkodran Mustafi will play in the centre.
Sead Kolasinac will provide an attacking plus creative edge as he is one of the strongest and most dangerous Premier League full-backs. Hector Bellerin will play as the right wingback. He has been playing more central and crossing from close distance. The quick fullback could cause a lot of problems if Tottenham don’t close him down.
Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey will play at the heart of midfield. If Xhaka could add something to his positioning ability and discipline when it comes to tackling, he could prove to be a match winner.
Ramsey has been fine with his presence in the box and will look to finish off more chances.
Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez will have to put more heart into what they do before they eventually leave. They will play as the wingers. Özil needs to be quicker with his passing in the final third and not give away hard earned possession
Alexandre Lacazette, who impressed against City has reminded Wenger yet again, what his place in the team is for.