26-year-old has to start, no Wilshere: The Arsenal XI that can smash Tottenham

By on November 16, 2017

alexandre lacazette

The big one has arrived. It’s North London Derby time as Arsenal welcome Tottenham to the Emirates on Saturday lunchtime. Here is the team I expect to see Arsene Wenger select….

Goalkeeper: Cech

Cech may not be the elite keeper he was during his time at Chelsea but he’s still easily the best goalkeeper we have on our books. Let’s just hope Mike Dean doesn’t gift Spurs any penalties! [0/13]

Defence: Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal

We’ve been handed a major boost as Mustafi is set to return to the squad after overcoming a thigh injury that’s kept him out for the past month. The German international is expected to start in the middle of the back three but I think he’s more suited to playing on the right side.

That would allow Koscielny to play in the centre – where I feel he’s at his best – and our skipper is available after overcoming his latest Achilles scare.

The final spot in the defence goes to Monreal and there’s no player who deserves his place more than Nacho right now as he’s been excellent this season.

Mertesacker and Holding will battle it out for a place on the bench but I don’t think we’ll see Chambers anywhere near the squad despite returning to full fitness.

Midfield: Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac

I’ve seen plenty of fans calling for Wilshere to start against the enemy on Saturday. They feel his passion for the club is exactly what we need for this game. However, as much as I’d love to make a case for Jack starting, I think it would be risky – especially in the middle of the park.

Wilshere’s over exuberance could be problematic in the heat of a derby as the last thing we need is him flying in to a tackle only to injury himself or get sent off. Let’s not forget he’s still rusty and some way off his best so I think a sub role is needed this weekend.

That would leave Ramsey alongside Xhaka and it’s important Rambo manages his instinct to bomb forward as we don’t want to see Xhaka exposed.

The wing-back positions are easy as Kolasinac and Bellerin will once again start out wide.

Attack: Ozil, Sanchez, Lacazette

If Wilshere was to start anywhere, Wenger has suggested he’s regarded as an attacking midfielder these days so he’s basically competing with Sanchez and Ozil for a starting spot – which makes it’s very difficult.

Like many fans, I’ve lost a lot of love for our contract rebels but we need to put all that aside on Saturday as we need big performances from our best two players. They were both woeful against City last time out so let’s hope for vast improvements this weekend.

Giroud is expected to miss out after picking up a thigh injury while away with France and I can’t see Wenger throwing Welbeck in to a derby after only recently recovering from a groin injury.

So let’s pray that means we see Lacazette starting up top. It was a huge mistake from Wenger to leave the 26-year-old out against City so I hope he doesn’t make the same mistake twice [three times if you include the Liverpool game].

My concern is Arsene might go with Sanchez through the middle and Iwobi in attack with Laca on the bench again. If so, the boss will have proven he doesn’t trust our record signing.

This is the team I’d like to see start on Saturday:

This is arguably our best eleven and I think on it’s day this side is a match for any team at the Emirates. Let’s hope Wenger gets his team selection right and the players are up for it because if they are I can see us beating Spurs.