Tottenham entertains Arsenal at Wembley in a power-packed clash which could ultimately be decisive in the race for the top-four.
Arsenal travel to Wembley, the temporary home of bitter cross-city rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, in what could be one of the biggest games of the season for both sides. As the race for top four places picks up momentum in the final third of the Premier League, the result of the North London Derby could ultimately become a decisive factor at the end of the season.
Arsene Wenger, considering Arsenal’s performance against Everton will ideally keep the same side for the Tottenham game. Petr Cech could be the only exception if the same team features in the North London Derby after going off injured last weekend.
Wenger, if he is to make changes, will change the team’s formation as he has done so in big away games. Arsenal played with a four-man defence last weekend, while against Tottenham Wenger could go back to a three-man system.
If Arsene Wenger does opt for the same team, this is how it would look like.
Arsenal’s form away from home has been dreadful, winning only 4 games from 13. Wenger in big away games prefers a three-man defence as it offers better stability and contains opposition attacks. A three-man defence could well rob Arsenal off an attacker, in which case Alex Iwobi could well be the one heading to the bench.
Ospina could start in goal, although Cech’s inclusion is not entirely ruled out. The back-four will undoubtedly consist of Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal as full-backs with Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny in central defence. Bellerin and Monreal thrived in this system in the last game and could be influential again against Tottenham.
Granit Xhaka and Aaron Ramsey are pencilled to be the midfield pairing, but the return to fitness of Jack Wilshere could allow Wenger, or at least tempt him to use Wilshere and Ramsey together. The Wilshere-Ramsey axis has so far been below par as they are both considered the same kind of players.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan after his starring performance against Everton could get the nod, alongside Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi as the other two attacking midfielders. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could start as Arsenal’s central striker, with Alexandre Lacazette coming from the bench yet again.