The first North London derby of the season takes place this weekend. Arsenal start the weekend 12 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and practically with no hope of winning the title this season. But with Chelsea occupying fourth spot and only three points ahead of Arsene Wenger’s side, Arsenal need to start winning games if they do not want to miss out on a top four finish and Champions League football again this season.
A home game against rivals Tottenham presents Wenger and his team the chance to get back to winning ways after losing 3-1 to Manchester City prior to the international break. Here is the team we believe Wenger will field against Tottenham:
Although Petr Cech is not as reliable as he used to be when he was at Chelsea, he remains Arsenal’s best goalkeeper and we fully expect him to start against Tottenham, unless he gets injured in training prior to the match.
Shkodran Mustafi has returned to training but we believe Saturday’s derby will be too soon for the German international. In the absence of Mustafi, many Arsenal fans will ordinarily expect Rob Holding to start but it wouldn’t surprise us if Wenger chooses to play Per Mertesacker alongside the duo of Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal at the back. Arsene Wenger will most likely go for the experience and calmness of Mertesacker and therefore drop Holding to the bench.
Hector Bellerin and Sead Kolasinac are almost certainly going to play in the right and left wingback positions, respectively. We expect Granit Xhaka to play the defensive midfield role and maybe partnered with Wilshere in the possible absence of Ramsey.
Mesut Ozil is expected to be fit and if he is, he will likely start behind Alexandre Lacazette in midfield. Alexis Sanchez will be the other player, on the left side of attack, while Alexandre Lacazette will be up top.