Arsenal will be aiming to return to winning ways when they entertain Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Sunday. The Gunners started the season with back-to-back wins over Newcastle United and Burnley but they could not sustain the run against Liverpool, where they succumbed to a 3-1 loss.
Despite the defeat, there were plenty of positives from the fact that the Gunners had created genuine chances to score during the opening half and the outcome of the game could have been different, had they found the net early in the encounter.
Still, that does not hide the defensive flaws in their game and manager Unai Emery will be hoping for a much better performance against Spurs after they were outclassed by Jurgen Klopp’s side during the second half of the contest at Anfield.
Bernd Leno has been the undisputed contender for the goalkeeping role and the German should continue to keep his position, considering he has not made any errors contributing to the goals conceded by the club.
In the defence, Emery won’t be able to bank on the services of Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, Dinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding, who are working on their fitness after respective injuries.
David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos should feature at the heart of the defence this weekend with Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Sead Kolasinac occupying the right and left positions respectively.
Nacho Monreal has been the first-choice left-back since the start of the season but it is unclear whether he may feature in the derby amid the transfer interest which has been confirmed by Emery.
In the midfield, Granit Xhaka is a certainty in the holding role after his credible performance against Liverpool. The Swiss is also the unofficial club-captain and is regarded as one of Emery’s regulars.
Unlike at Anfield, Emery may go with a much attack-minded lineup for his encounter and that should see him revert to the traditional 4-2-3-1 formation from the midfield diamond last time around.
We are anticipating both Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock to drop to the bench and Lucas Torreira could be the player to accompany Xhaka after scoring a consolation goal during his 30-minute appearance at Anfield.
In the attack, Dani Ceballos should once more take up the number 10 role and he will definitely want to prove himself after struggling to make a mark against the Reds before his hour-mark substitution.
Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe should slot into the left and right wing positions respectively with Alexandre Lacazette returning to the starting lineup to lead the line.
Pepe was undoubtedly the most promising player on display at Anfield last weekend, but he was disappointing with his end product. He will want to redeem himself with a contribution in his maiden north London derby.
How Arsenal could lineup against Spurs: Bernd Leno, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Nicolas Pepe, Dani Ceballos, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette