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Tottenham team news: The expected 4-3-3 line-up against Arsenal

Mauricio Pochettino has had plenty to ponder over the last week. Tottenham‘s unexpected 1-0 home defeat at the hands of struggling Newcastle turned heads, as Spurs struggled to find a way to squeeze their way through a resilient five-man defensive line.

Calls for Christian Eriksen to play a bigger role and climb the midfield order have only become stronger since another 90 minutes rolled by without the hosts building consistently from midfield to attack.

The north London derby is always a competitive affair. Arsenal have made promising progress over the summer, bringing in the likes of David Luiz, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe to try and ensure that there is a technical, attacking edge to how the Gunners go about their business in possession under Unai Emery – but off the ball they are still there to be hurt.

Spurs travel to the Emirates under less pressure than their opponents. Arsenal will be required to make a statement after falling considerably short against fellow top-four opponent Liverpool last weekend. Sunday provides another chance for the home side to prove that they are moving in the right direction and will be in the race for a Champions League finish in the Premier League this campaign.

Defence

Jan Vertonghen has been controversially kept on the fringes of Spurs’ squad (Getty Images)

Kyle Walker-Peters picked up a hamstring injury against Newcastle which saw the young full back substituted just after the hour mark. Given that Juan Foyth is still recovering from an ankle problem and Serge Aurier is heavily linked with a move away from the club before the end of the transfer window in Europe, Pochettino is likely to go with a make-shift option at right back.

Moussa Sissoko filled in at right back in the second half against the Magpies, but Eric Dier is another player who could plug the gap given his past experience at full back and centre back. Spurs could also revert to three at the back if required, a move that would give more defensive security in behind a make-shift full back. Jan Vertonghen still waits on the sidelines, but did return to the club’s most recent match day squad – a sign of progress after some controversial omissions. The Belgian should come back into the starting eleven, as things haven’t been solid without him.

Probable starters: Lloris; Sissoko, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose

Midfield

Christian Eriksen shows his frustration during Spurs’ defeat against Newcastle (Getty Images)

Ryan Sessegnon will be out with a thigh injury until mid-September, as the youngster continues to wait until he is fit enough to make his competitive debut for the club. Tanguy N’Dombele also picked up a minor hamstring strain ahead of last weekend’s defeat against Newcastle and is therefore a doubt for featuring at the weekend. Eriksen could play in a deeper role as a result, given that the likes of Erik Lamela, Dele Alli and Giovani Lo Celso can play in attacking roles further forward.

Dier could be an option to stiffen up the base of midfield should N’Dombele fail a fitness test, while Eriksen should help to bridge the gap between midfield and attack that has been lacking so far in the Premier League for Pochettino’s side. Given that Arsenal will likely go with a midfield three of Dani Ceballos, Matteo Guendouzi and Granit Xhaka, the introduction of a more defensively-minded and reserved presence such as Dier may be the intelligent route to go in a big away game.

Probable starters: Dier, Winks, Eriksen

Attack

Spurs’ first-choice front three could retain after Dele Alli’s recovery from injury (Getty Images)

Dele Alli picked up an injury during Spurs’ pre-season preparations but should be fit for action this weekend after a long spell on the sidelines. Given that the start of the league season has led to suggestions that Tottenham are lacking penetration and a direct goal threat from deep, the hard-to-pigeonhole style of Alli could be key to helping break down an Arsenal rearguard which has been leaky and error-prone of late.

Harry Kane will lead the line, while Heung-min Son‘s work rate and explosiveness on the break should see the South Korea international preferred to Lucas Moura. The Brazilian’s form has been inconsistent, but he could be an interesting option from the bench. If Alli is fit enough to make the squad, the Englishman should offer a new dimension to Spurs’ attack – while Lo Celso will likely be eased into action as a substitute once again as he adjusts to life in London.

Probable starters: Son, Kane, Alli

Expected Tottenham line-up against Arsenal (4-3-3): Lloris; Sissoko, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Winks, Dier, Eriksen; Son, Kane, Alli.

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