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Xhaka in, Cazorla out in 4-2-3-1: My Arsenal XI to face Tottenham
The big one is almost upon us as Arsenal welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon for the first North London derby of the new season. This is the team I’d like to see Arsene Wenger go with….
Cech will come back in to the side after being rested for our Champions League win over Ludogorets.
Defence: Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal
Bellerin is expected to recover from a minor knock and return to the side after missing the trip to Bulgaria earlier this week so Jenkinson will drop out while Mustafi will once again start alongside Koscielny at the back.
Gibbs is a doubt after suffering a shoulder injury against Ludogorets so it’s just as well Monreal is set to return from a four-game absence with a thigh problem. The Spaniard has returned to training so should take his place at left-back.
Midfield: Ramsey, Xhaka
Central midfield has become something of a contentious area now that Ramsey has returned from injury and we have plenty of options to choose from – although it looks as though Cazorla might not make it on Sunday.
The playmaker has missed the last four matches with an achilles injury and wasn’t seen at training on Thursday so we’ll have to assume he won’t be available to take on Tottenham, which will be a big blow.
With no Cazorla, we need a ball player in midfield and that’s why I’d start Xhaka – despite Arsene admitting his concerns over his temperament ahead of the NLD. Coquelin and Elneny are both pushing for starts but I’d personally go with Ramsey alongside Xhaka.
I can understand why many would want Coquelin in there to help deal with a hard-working Spurs side but both Xhaka and Ramsey will be able to play around the Tottenham press, which is something Le Coq may struggle with.
Attack: Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi
Walcott has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury but he’s set to return and while Oxlade-Chamberlain has impressed at times in recent games, I don’t think there is any doubt Theo should come back in on the right wing.
Obviously Ozil will start and I think Iwobi is the best option out on the left wing as I’d like to see Sanchez move back up front….
Giroud started up top against Ludogorets and showed his worth with another goal but there is no denying we looked less mobile in attack with the Frenchman through the middle.
Therefore, I don’t think Arsene should hesitate in moving Sanchez back up front and using Giroud as an impact substitute this weekend.
This would be my line-up to face Spurs: