- Arsenal host Tottenham in the first North London Derby of the season this weekend
- Spurs finished above the Gunners for the first time in 22 years last season
- Just three Arsenal players make our combined XI ahead of the weekend
- READ MORE: Arsenal tipped to beat Tottenham despite power shift but Gunners just 6/1 to finish as London’s top club
Arsenal host Tottenham in the Premier League this weekend, with the first North London Derby coming in Saturday’s early kickoff in a welcome return to club football after the international break.
While Arsene Wenger’s side are used to being favourites for these matches, there has been a real turnaround between these two teams in recent years as Spurs finally overtake their rivals as top dogs in north London.
Tottenham ended 22 years of hurt by finally finishing above Arsenal last season, and they look the more well-rounded outfit this year with a superior squad of players in almost every position.
Almost being generous to Arsenal, this is the combined XI we’ve gone for, and it’s a clear win for the white half of north London…
GK: It’s not yet certain if he’ll play in this weekend’s game, but Hugo Lloris is clearly the better goalkeeper now as Petr Cech seems to go into decline. The Frenchman has been superb for this rock-solid Spurs outfit and they’ll be desperate to have him fit for this one.
CB: Toby Alderweireld is the first of our two picks at centre-back, and you can make a pretty decent stab of who comes next as none of Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi or Per Mertesacker really look up to scratch at the moment.
CB: Secondly it’s Alderweireld’s central defensive partner Jan Vertonghen, who along with his fellow Belgian has helped make Tottenham the meanest back-line in the country over the last few years.
RB: Finally an Arsenal player and we’ve only narrowly given it to Hector Bellerin at right-back. Kieran Trippier has had a fine season, but it remains to be seen if he can truly step up to replace Kyle Walker.
LB: It’s another Arsenal player on the left as we’ve gone for the hugely impressive summer signing Sead Kolasinac, who looks an absolute bargain after arriving on a free and contributing three goals and three assists so far.
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CM: Eric Dier is first up in midfield, which has been a real weak spot for Arsenal for some time in the absence of Santi Cazorla through injury, with none of Francis Coquelin, Granit Xhaka or Aaron Ramsey doing a convincing job in his absence.
CM: Alongside Dier is exciting youngster Harry Winks, who is having a superb season after injuries to Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama presented him with an opportunity that he has taken with both hands.
AM: The last Arsenal player you’ll see in here, we’ve gone for Alexis Sanchez on the right of an attacking midfield three, with the Chilean undoubtedly one of the best in the world on his day even if he’s not quite been at it for Arsenal this season.
AM: Over on the left is Christian Eriksen, who just seems to get better and better after a low-key start at Tottenham. The Denmark international scored a superb hat-trick against the Republic of Ireland in midweek and looks unstoppable right now with the goals and assists flying in.
Ahead of the #NLD, who’s really the better player?
? for Christian Eriksen
? for Mesut Ozil pic.twitter.com/GmU2hzEbz0
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) November 15, 2017
AM: Behind the main striker is another hugely impressive Tottenham youngster in Dele Alli. Still only 21, the England international is almost a senior member of this squad now and will be key to helping beat Arsenal this weekend.
CF: Finally, no surprises to see Harry Kane complete the line up after another superb season in front of goal. The 24-year-old is the Premier League’s leading goalscorer and, worryingly for Arsenal, seems to love the big London derbies.