With one of the biggest games in the English football calendar coming up, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur will do battle to be the ruler of North London. The two biggest clubs in the region, this high-intensity derby feels even more important. Having enjoyed lording it over their city rivals for a few years now, Spurs look as weak as they ever have under Mauricio Pochettino. Can Unai Emery put them to the sword and really settle in at Arsenal?
The Gunners are without a host of important players, including Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, and Mesut Ozil. This should mean that we could see them line up in a standard 4-2-3-1, with the diamond experiment tried out last week at Anfield not likely to be revisited here.
Alexandre Lacazette should return up-front, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicola Pepe in the wide areas. There’s lots to be excited about for Arsenal, but a struggling back-line – especially on the left-hand side – leaves plenty to worry about should they get too gung-ho.
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Spurs will probably line up in a similar formation, caused in part by their interesting list of injuries. Juan Foyth and Ryan Sessegnon are both out, while Dele Alli, Kyle Walker-Peters, and Tanguy Ndombele are all likely to miss out.
With Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen both fit – though their futures uncertain – we could see both come into the team if they are still at Spurs come the weekend. With transfer rumours floating around about both players, there’s no guarantee.
A solid score draw. Both sides are quite porous at the back, but the return to form of some of their attacking talent on both sides could see a high-octane game. We can see both teams scoring a couple, though calling an outright winner is tough when both teams are so plagued by uncertainty and inconsistency in big games.