The North London Derby is just a few hours away from commencing as Arsenal host Spurs at the Emirates.
It will be the second time that the two sides have met this season, with the first resulting in a 2-1 win for the Gunners in the Capital One Cup back in September.
Arsenal’s last outing however was one to forget, a 5-1 mauling to Bayern Munich earlier in the week which subsequently leaves the club’s hopes of progressing from their Champions League group hanging by a thread. So what better game to bounce back from than the North London Derby in front of their own fans.
Unfortunately, Arsene Wenger still has a number of players unavailable due to injury, with Hector Bellerin unlikely to recover from his groin injury in time, while Mikel Arteta faces a late fitness test to make the bench. Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky, David Ospina, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey are all still sidelined, but Laurent Koscielny, who missed midweek’s game against Bayern, could feature (hopefully he does).
So with the thrashing in Germany still in mind and the North London Derby such an important game, how should Arsenal line-up against Spurs?
Well here is how I would like to see the team set out today:
Debuchy Gabriel Koscielny Monreal
Sanchez Ozil Cazorla
If Koscielny is fit then he has to play, no questions asked.
Per Mertesacker was awful against Bayern and to be fair, so was Gabriel. But I would rather see the latter alongside Koscielny today than the former. Give the big effing German a rest.
Usually we see Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla sit in front of the back four and it has worked, but I think this is a game for Mathieu Flamini, especially after his display against Spurs last time out. We need fighters and players with passion that know about the derby and the Frenchman is one of them.
In front of Flamini and Le Coq, I would play Alexis Sanchez on the right, Mesut Ozil in the hole and stick Cazorla out on the left. The Spaniard has played there before and did a decent job and if he does struggle then he can alternate with Ozil and Sanchez.
Finally, Olivier Giroud spearheading the attack.