Arsenal need to bounce back quickly from our defeat to Liverpool as we welcome Tottenham to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon.
It’s safe the say the result at Anfield was a huge disappointment but we were right in the game during the first half and spurned a couple of great chances to take the lead. On another day, the scoreline could have been very different but sadly two brainless moments from David Luiz cost us.
That loss shouldn’t detract from what’s been a solid start to the Premier League season from Arsenal as we’ve got six points on the board following wins over Newcastle and Burnley and tomorrow’s NLD gives us an opportunity to put some distance between us and Spurs.
Tottenham are two points behind us after taking four points from their opening two games and losing to Newcastle United last weekend so the gap would widen to five points if Arsenal can secure the derby spoils at the Emirates on Sunday.
Alexandre Lacazette is pushing to start after recovering from a niggling ankle injury that prevented him from starting at Anfield so we could see the Frenchman line-up alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe in attack.
Mesut Ozil is also set to return to the squad after building on his fitness in training this week but I doubt he’ll be handed a start by Emery just yet so a place on the bench is likely.
Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are due to resume full training next month but they are still unavailable for selection. Arsenal have allowed Nacho Monreal to join Real Sociedad so Sead Kolasinac will start at left-back. I don’t see why the move couldn’t have waited until Monday to allow Monreal to play against Tottenham but it’s done now so we won’t get to give him a proper send off.
As for Spurs, they’ve got problems at right-back as Kyle Walker-Peters has been ruled out with a thigh injury and Juan Foyth is still out with an ankle problem. Eric Dier is a doubt with a hip complaint so Serge Aurier could make his first appearance since February.
Tanguy Ndombele will miss the game with a thigh injury while Ryan Sessegnon is still nursing a hamstring injury.
I hope Emery picks our big-guns in attack with Dani Ceballos in the attacking midfield role as I think those four would cause Spurs all sorts of problems. The big change for me would be to leave out Granit Xhaka as his influence on the team has been decreasing for some time and I think we’d be more balanced with Lucas Torreira protecting the defence. I’d also pick Matteo Guendouzi ahead of Joe Willock but would have no issue if Emery opted for the English youngster.
This would be my line-up:
Expected Tottenham XI: Lloris, Aurier, Alderweireld, Sanchez, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Eriksen, Son, Lucas, Kane
It’s a NLD so virtually anything can happen. These games are always packed with drama, controversy and goals so we should be in for another exciting match tomorrow. I haven’t seen anything from Tottenham this season to suggest they are anywhere near their best and I know form goes out the window in derbies but I really think Arsenal should be confident heading into this one.
Our squad is far more balanced than it has been in recent years and we’ve got a front three to match anything in the league. As long as the defence don’t give Tottenham any gifts like they did to Liverpool, I’m confident we can secure all three points. I’m going Arsenal 3-1 Tottenham. COYG!