No Smith Rowe – How Arsenal should line-up vs Tottenham

By on May 11, 2022

Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Arsenal can secure fourth place with victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Thursday night. This is the line-up I’d like to see Mikel Arteta select for the match…

I’ve seen some fans suggesting Arsenal should match up with Tottenham and play a back three, but I think we should stick with our own system. At least from the start – we have the players to switch things around and go with a back three/five if needed.

Ben White will be assessed to see if he’s ready to return from a thigh injury that’s kept him out of Arsenal’s last two matches. Arteta says White is feeling ‘much better’ so it sounds like he’ll be fit to face Tottenham.

He could come in to re-form his partnership with Gabriel in the middle of defence, however, I hope we see White starting at right-back. He’s a far more solid option that Cedric Soares and it would allow Takehiro Tomiyasu to once again fill-in for Kieran Tierney at left-back.

Rob Holding has done superbly well filling-in for White so he deserves to keep his place along with Gabriel. I think a back-four of White, Holding, Gabriel and Tomiyasu is our best bet tomorrow night.

ben white arsenal defender

Let’s not forget, as much as I’d love Arsenal to win tomorrow, this is a must-not-lose game for us. The pressure is on Tottenham to win, not us, so let’s keep things as tight as possible in defence.

In midfield, Thomas Partey remains out so we should see Mo Elneny keeping his place alongside Granit Xhaka. Martin Odegaard has been in excellent form for Arsenal lately so he’ll continue in the attacking midfield role – although I’d like to see him playing a little deeper in a three-man midfield to start with.

Bukayo Saka is a minor doubt with a knock but he’s expected to be fit to keep his place on the right wing, which will be a big boost. I hope Gabriel Martinelli keeps his spot on the opposite flank as he was excellent against Leeds at the weekend.

That means Emile Smith Rowe will have to settle for a place on the bench, but he’ll be a great weapon to have in the second half if needed.

Eddie Nketiah impressed again at the weekend with two goals so he should start once again with Alexandre Lacazette remaining on the bench.

Here is the side I hope we see:

football formations