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Preview: Arsenal v Spurs: Fresh injury blow, Lacazette to start + prediction

By on November 17, 2017

alexandre lacazette

The big one has arrived. It’s North London Derby time as Arsenal welcome Tottenham to the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime.

These games rarely disappoint and for me the North London Derby is the most exciting derby in the Premier League. Hands down.

Obviously the gap has closed in recent years between the two clubs but I still think it’s too soon to be discussing a permanent ‘power shift’. No question Spurs are a decent side these days but they still haven’t broken their long trophy drought and let’s not forget it’s Arsenal who’ve won three FA Cups in four years.

However, we do head in to the game four points behind our rivals in the table so it’s vital we close that gap by collecting all three points tomorrow. If we can’t win, definitely DON’T lose or it will be a second season finishing behind the sc*m.

Team news

Theo Walcott didn’t take part in training today so it looks like he’s picked up a late injury and is struggling to be involved against Tottenham.

Olivier Giroud is also out with a thigh injury so teenage striker Eddie Nketiah may be drafted in to the squad after training with the first team on Friday. The 18-year-old was also left out of the U23 game tonight so looks like he could be involved tomorrow.

We have some good news in defence as Shkodran Mustafi, Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding are all back in contention while Laurent Koscielny is fit despite an Achilles problem earlier this week. That means no Coquelin at centre-back again!

Danny Welbeck is also available again after recovering from a groin problem so we have a strong squad available this weekend.

As for Spurs, it will come as no surprise to hear that ALL of their ‘injured’ players who pulled out of international duty are fit and available for selection.

Harry Kane, Harry Winks, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm all trained today so are expected to be in the squad but Toby Alderweirled and Victor Wanyama remain out.

Preferred line-up

I’d like to see Mustafi on the right of the back three alongside Kos and Monreal with Bellerin and Kolasinac in the wing-back positions.

I think it’s too soon to ask Wilshere to play in midfield in a heated derby so we’ll have to stick with Ramsey and Xhaka – let’s hope they put in a disciplined display or we’ll be overrun in midfield.

If Welbeck was 100% match fit I’d start him but he’ll probably still be rusty after a month out so I’d go with Ozil and Sanchez. They owe us a big performance so hopefully they step-up against Tottenham.

There is no question Wenger has to start Lacazette. It was a huge mistake leaving him out against City so fingers crossed the boss doesn’t make the same mistake.

This would be my team:

Spurs likely XI: Lloris, Dier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Trippier, Winks, Dembele, Rose, Alli, Eriksen, Kane.

Prediction

I hate predicting NLD’s and this one is particularly tough. We have to keep Kane quiet, obviously, but the key is Arsenal being positive with the ball. We’ve not passed well enough in the big games so if the boys are ‘at it’ tomorrow I fancy us to edge it. If our key men go missing and we leave Xhaka exposed in midfield we’ll be in trouble, but I can’t think of anything other than a win so I’m going with 2-1.

Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham

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One Comment

  1. Wolfgang

    November 17, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    There is no reason why Arsenal can’t win.To do that
    Wenger needs to be more pragmatic tactically.If he goes
    berserk with his attack,Arsenal be picked off .
    All the top manangers know how he likes to play and have
    won repeatedly against him.
    The hugelosses were embarrassing and tolerated by Arsenal but ,
    believe me,at any othe club,he would have been
    unceremoniously fired.The bg shd not start and the gunners
    shd go more direct instead of intricate passes.
    Then we shall see.Another loss would surely drive home that the fm has seen better days.In the fw,if you cant win,you are out.

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