With Wolves losing against Sheffield United in midweek, Arsenal would have been disappointed that they couldn’t pick up a victory against Leicester City. They were 1-0 up in that game but a red card from Eddie Nketiah in the 75th minute saw momentum change and the Foxes managed to equalise through Jamie Vardy.
The draw meant that the Gunners are only one point away from Wolves, per BBC Sport, and so their final four games are crucial if they want a top six finish.
The games don’t get any bigger than today’s North London derby. They face an inconsistent Tottenham Hotspur side, who could not even manage a shot on target in their clash against relegation-threatened Bournemouth on Thursday.
The Gunners probably come into the derby as favourites based on league position and form, and not only would the three points be huge for the fate of their season, but it would also give their fans the local bragging rights. Here is our predicted Arsenal starting XI, which sees Mikel Arteta make two changes for the fixture.
Cedric Soares was not in the squad to face Leicester City but Football.London report that this was not due to injury. Arteta just wanted to give him a rest as he has only recently returned from injury and the Spaniard has been full of praise for him, saying: “He’s a different quality in the full-back area than what we have.”
Given those comments and the fact he was being rested, it looks like Arteta wanted the Portugal defender to be as fresh as possible for the game against Jose Mourinho’s side, so he could come in for Hector Bellerin at right-back. The rest of the back line will probably stay the same.
With Bukayo Saka picking up a goal and an assist in his last two games, he is most unlikely to be dropped, and Granit Xhaka and Dani Ceballos are undefeated as a midfield pairing in their last five fixtures, so there is no reason for them to lose their places for the derby either.
Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette received the second lowest Sofascore rating out of the Arsenal squad (6.5) from the Leicester game and this could see Arteta prefer top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front and bring in Nicolas Pepe to play on the wing.
It is a very important team selection for Arteta and there will be a lot on the line, but with this predicted XI, there is no doubting that the Gunners could come away with the victory.
Gunners fans, what are your thoughts on this starting XI? Let us know down below!
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