Arsenal and Tottenham have both started the season very well. Arsenal are joint top of the league and their North London rivals are not far behind, and remain unbeaten in the league. The Gunners will need to end their rivals run on Sunday with a win needed to show the club are serious title contenders.
Here’s the strongest Arsenal line-up for the weekends game.
Goalkeeper: Petr Cech
He’s not been himself this season and he will need to make sure he finds his best form for this game, as one save is likely to make all the difference in this tight encounter.
Right-Back: Hector Bellerin
I hope anyway… Wenger is yet to reveal the full extent of the ‘injury’ the Spaniard picked up in training pre-Ludogorets but hopefully it was just a precaution that he didn’t travel, he needs to start.
Centre Back: Skhodran Mustafi
Centre Back: Laurent Koscielny
Left Back: Kieran Gibbs
There’s a tough decision for Wenger to make on Sunday as Monreal is likely to return to fitness but Gibbs has done, for the most part, very well in the Spaniards absence. I’d opt for Kieran to keep momentum and because being English and being at the club for so long, he knows what the derby is all about.
Centre Midfield: Francis Coquelin
Coquelin must keep his head in this game, hopefully he has learned from the last derby. I think Xhaka has maybe not yet learned his discipline for games like this and he is unlikely to be put into such a high pressure game. Coquelin is important in this one as Tottenham have a lot of attacking talent but the Frenchman must keep his discipline and break up the play.
Centre Midfield: Santi Cazorla
Cazorla is likely to come back into the line-up on Sunday after an injury has ruled him out of the last couple of games. His play between the lines, experience in this fixture and all-round demeanour make him an essential part of the XI for this game. Please be fit.
Right Midfield: Theo Walcott
If he’s fit Walcott needs to come back into the side for this game. He knows all about the rivalry and has a decent record against Spurs.
Attacking Midfield: Mesut Ozil
The German was majestic on Tuesday night and Arsenal really need him to prove his worth in the big games like this one to show he is truly amongst the very best in European football.
Left Midfield: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
There’s a big call for Wenger to make on the left hand side of midfield with Alexis, Ramsey, Ox, and Iwobi all options. I don’t think Wenger will, but I’d go for The Ox. Again, he knows what this derby is about, he’s coming into form and he’s a player that, at his best, can make a big difference.
Striker: Alexis Sanchez
I think Alexis played a lot worse on the left on Tuesday and the Gunners played worse as an attacking unit with Giroud up front. Keeping Alexis at number 9 is the sensible choice, Giroud can always be used as a plan B coming off of the bench.