- Arsenal face Tottenham hoping to avoid falling further behind their rivals
- Giroud and Alderweireld miss out due to injury
- Tottenham are unbeaten in the last four meetings between the two sides
- READ MORE: ‘If Arsenal lose, should be it for Wenger’ – Ex-Arsenal ace makes shock call ahead of Tottenham clash
Arsenal host Tottenham in the north London derby at the Emirates on Saturday, with both sides unsurprisingly desperate to claim all three points.
For the visitors, it’s a chance to temporarily close the gap on league leaders Man City with a win, as they start the day eight points adrift of Pep Guardiola’s side.
In turn, a win would give them a real boost in confidence moving forward, and a chance to further solidify their claim as the top team in north London.
Arsenal will likely still have faint aspirations of launching a Premier League title assault, but ultimately based on the current standings, it looks as though they could be set for another battle to make the top four as they sit three points adrift of Chelsea in fourth place.
As a result, a win is huge for both sides, not to mention bragging rights as both sets of supporters will be desperate to see their team win to also deal a big blow to their rival.
Olivier Giroud will join long-term absentee Santi Cazorla on the sidelines, as per BBC Sport, while Wenger will hope to welcome Shkodran Mustafi, Danny Welbeck and Rob Holding back from injury after the trio took part in full training on Friday.
Wenger’s decision to drop Alexandre Lacazette to the bench against Man City was heavily criticised, but given the Frenchman was also benched against Liverpool earlier in the season, it remains to be seen if he starts this one.
As for Tottenham, there’s bad news on Toby Alderweireld’s hamstring injury which keeps him out until Christmas, but Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Hugo Lloris and Harry Winks are all set to be available.
Arsenal: Cech; Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Lacazette, Sanchez.
Tottenham: Lloris; Dier, Sanchez, Vertonghen; Trippier, Winks, Dembele, Rose; Alli, Kane, Eriksen.
Given Tottenham are unbeaten in this fixture in the last four meetings in all competitions, with one win and three draws, coupled with the positive atmosphere surrounding Pochettino’s side in contrast to the negative one around Wenger, it all points to a potentially disastrous day at the office for Arsenal.
However, they’ve got to step up and produce in this one after falling short at Man City last time out, and they’ll have to start by matching the energy and combativeness of the visitors.
The big games in the Premier League haven’t always delivered this season, but this could buck the trend as both teams will go for the win and that will lead to an entertaining 2-2 draw.