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Arsenal v Tottenham preview | Injury boost for Gunners, Ozil starts + predicted score

By on December 2, 2018

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Arsenal can secure the bragging rights in north London and boost our top four hopes with a win over Tottenham at the Emirates this afternoon.

We head in to the game sitting fifth in the Premier League table and fourth-placed Chelsea could extend their advantage to four points if they beat Fulham at Stamford Bridge in the early lunchtime kick-off.

However, Tottenham are three points ahead of us in third place with the same +12 goal difference so we can climb in to the top four and above our north London rivals with a win this afternoon.

Unai Emery has enjoyed an encouraging start to life at Arsenal since arriving in the summer and we extended our unbeaten run to 18 games in all competitions with a 3-0 win at Vorskla in the Europa League on Thursday night.

However, our credentials will be severely tested today as Tottenham are a solid side who are on a fine run of form themselves having won their last six matches so we should be in for an intriguing match at the Emirates.

Team news

Arsenal have been handed a major fitness boost as Alexandre Lacazette is back in contention after returning to full training having missed the win at Bournemouth last weekend with a groin injury.

Laurent Koscielny made his comeback with a run out for the U23’s last week but he’s not expected to be involved today so he’ll remain out along with Nacho Monreal and Danny Welbeck.

Tottenham attacker Erik Lamela is a doubt after picking up a knock during their win over Inter Milan in midweek but Kieran Trippier, Mousa Dembele, Davinson Sanchez and Victor Wanyama are all still out.

Preferred line-up

Emery played a back three at Bournemouth last weekend but I expect him to revert to a flat back four this afternoon and it’s safe to say Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac will return in the full-back positions. Rob Holding has been getting plenty of minutes lately but I hope Emery goes with Sokratis today while Shkodran Mustafi will be fresh having been rested on Thursday night.

Lucas Torreira and Granit Xhaka should be partnered in the middle of the park but it will be interesting to see how Emery lines-up in attack. Mesut Ozil hasn’t played a single minute of our last two matches but I think we need him to start today and I’ll be hoping for a big performance from the German playmaker.

Lacazette needs to start up front and I can’t see how Emery can leave Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out the side. He’s not as influential from out wide but in the current system it’s the only way to get him and Laca in the same line-up. Alex Iwobi would make-up the attack with Henrikh Mkhitaryan the man to miss out.

This would be my team:

football formations

For those who care, this is how Spurs are expected to line-up:

football formations

Prediction

Both teams are enjoying a good run of form so this is poised to be an interesting battle. Tottenham are a tough team these days and we’ll need to start much better than we have for much of the season if we’re to get a result. Our performances in the first half of games have been woeful at times and Spurs will punish us if we gift them an early lead. However, hopefully the Inter Milan game will have taken a lot out of the Tottenham side and we should be fresh as our big guns were rested in the Europa. I’m backing us to edge it today. Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham

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