Tottenham won their match against Manchester United and drew away to Liverpool in their last two Premier League matches. However, they will now take on Arsenal at the Wembley stadium hoping to make it 7 points from a tricky run of three games. The visitors, on the other hand, come into this match on the back of a 5-1 win against Everton last weekend.
In the mid-week FA Cup encounter, Tottenham managed to easily swat away Newport with most of their first team players on the bench or on complete rest. The good news for Manager Pochettino is that he will have a full squad of players to choose from for that all-important North London derby.
Here is the predicted 11 line-up for Tottenham and Arsenal for the North London Derby at Wembley on Saturday.
Tottenham’s Predicted 11
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t have any major injury concerns going into his North London derby at the Wembley Stadium. New signing Lucas Moura could be in contention to start from the bench even though he didn’t play any part in Tottenham’s win against Newport in midweek.
Centre-back Toby Alderweireld will most likely slot back into the starting XI in place of Davinson Sánchez, after playing the full 90 minutes against Newport in FA Cup. He will rekindle his partnership with compatriot Jan Verthonghen hoping to keep the likes of Ozil, Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan quiet on the night. The full-backs will be Ben Davies and Kieran Trippier, both of whom have been fantastic in the last 2 matches.
Arsenal’s Predicted 11
Unlike his counterpart, Arsene Wenger has quite a few decisions to make prior to announcing his starting XI on Saturday. Wenger is hopeful that Danny Welbeck could return to the squad, however, a starting spot looks a little far away now.
However, the biggest concern for Wenger will be the fitness of first-choice keeper Petr Cech, who had to go off injured in Arsenal’s last league game due to an on-field collision. Speaking at the pre-match press conference, Wenger said, “I will not take any risk if he’s not 100 percent fit, for sure, because I have full confidence in David Ospina. I have no problem with [selecting Ospina]. David Ospina or Petr Cech: I will make that decision tomorrow.”
If Cech is indeed unfit to take the field, David Ospina will prove to be a very able deputy behind a back-line consisting of Nacho Monreal, Hector Bellerin, Laurent Koscielny and Mustafi in front of him protecting the goal.
The centre-backs Koscielny and Mustafi will need to be at their best if they Arsenal are going to get anything out of this game. Monreal who has surprisingly been amognst the goals recently will look to keep is defensive discipline while also contributing in the attacking third.
With Aaron Ramsey getting a well-deserved hat-trick last weekend, Jack Wilshere will again have to settle for a place on the bench. Wenger will be ill-advised to use both Wilshere and Ramsey as it could leave the back-line with little or no protection. Xhaka will most probably slot into that deep centre-midfield role. The Swiss international has struggled a bit over the past few weeks, therefore it is crucial that he maintains his focus and remembers what his primary job is.
Lacazette who has scored 9 goals this season in the league will have to again wait for his chance from the bench as record signing Aubameyang looks set to lead the line at Wembley. The Gabon international will have world class players like Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to receive the service from. It would have given Wenger a lot of relief to see his new signing getting on the scoresheet in his very first match. With the pressure of the first goal completely off, the former Borussia Dortmund player will be keen to push Arsenal in the Champions League slots.
However, the performance of the week came from Henrikh Mkhitaryan who earned himself a hat-trick of assists in his first ever start for Arsenal. His partnership with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund was supremely lethal, something he will be looking to emulate at his new home.
The Armenian will have Ozil to run the play with as the duo look to break a very stubborn and solid Tottenham back-line. With Alexis Sanchez off to Manchester United, Iwobi will again take his place on the left-wing. However, his performances have come under heavy criticism recently, and hence he will be desperate to prove his talent in one of the biggest matches of the season.
Arsenal Predicted 11 – David Ospina, Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi, Hector Bellerin, Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.