The biggest North London derby in recent years approaches, and Arsenal find themselves short of one world class goalkeeper. Tottenham, on the other hand, have received a boost with two players returning from injury.
The Gunners have been dealt a huge blow in their title pursuits, with their veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech being ruled out for three to four weeks of action. Cech has been an integral part of their defence this season and emerged as one of their leaders on the pitch in recent times. In his place, Colombian keeper David Ospina will play his first Premier League game of the season.
“It’s a serious calf injury,” said manager Arsene Wenger of Cech’s injury, according to the Guardian. “He had a groin alert on the first goal. Maybe he compensated a bit too much and provoked another muscular injury.”
The defence has been further compromised by an injury to centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who will be replaced by Gabriel. The rest of the back four will be made up of regular starters Hector Bellerin, Per Mertesacker and Nacho Monreal. In midfield, Francis Coquelin and Aaron Ramsey will play in holding positions, while Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are further up field. Olivier Giroud will likely start the match as the lone striker.
Tottenham have been handed a boost before the match with the return of two of their key midfielders, Dele Alli and Mousa Dembele. While Dembele may start off the bench, Alli will slot right in at the number 10 position alongside Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen. Eric Dier and Ryan Mason form the homegrown central defensive partnership, and their fellow Spurs academy graduate Harry Kane will start up front.
With Jan Vertonghen still out with an injury, Kevin Wimmer joins Toby Alderweireld at the centre of defence. They will be flanked by Kyle Walker and Danny Rose, while Tottenham Hotspur and France captain Hugo Lloris is the man in goal behind them.