North London Derby Preview.

Could this match matter any more than it does?

No, and it amps up every season, especially with our neighbours starting to make a nasty habit of looking down on us.

This current North London Derby is no different, but the ramifications for the loser of this tussle are huge for either team.

We sit in sixth place, and four points behind spurs. If we lose this game,then we’ll have a massive seven point gap to traverse just to get to fifth spot. It would probably signal the end of our Champions League spot hopes, placing even more importance on our Europa League campaign.

So, it is quite obvious that we have a little more to lose than Pochettino’s lot.

They will still feel the burn should we do the double over them this season with victory.

A win for them could see them rise to the heights of 3rd spot, but should they lose, they’ll be likely five points from 3rd, and a mere point above us – with low confidence and a tough tie against Juventus in their midst.

One thing we have in our favour is that they did play in midweek. It may have been League Two opposition, but Newport County gave a fantastic account of themselves at Wembley, and tottenham used more than a few first team regulars in order to despatch their FA Cup opponent.

Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose, Heung Son-Min, Victor Wanyama and Harry Winks were among the eleven, and should they be selected they’ll be lacking that ten percent of energy that we’ll have after our weeks rest.

In Arsene Wenger’s pre-match press conference, our manager revealed that Nacho Monreal will thankfully be fit to take his place in the side, but the jury is still out on Petr Cech who was injured during our 5-1 win over Everton last week. David Ospina stands by to deputise.

Wenger has a selection headache too.

Aaron Ramsey scored a hat-trick in his last outing and the Welshman is surely a shoe-in for a start in this game.

But who partners him in midfield?

Granit Xhaka has been on point when it comes to his distribution, but wedging him into the DM role that clearly doesn’t fit him isn’t working. We could try fitting in Mohamed Elneny in a three man central midfield, but what of Jack Wilshere? The England man has been one of our best players in recent weeks and with his passion for Arsenal – a start in the NLD is a must, surely?

Then there is our attack.

Our new boys, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, both hit the ground running, and their partnership is a huge plus for us. They start, and obviously Mesut Ozil does too,but that means Alexandre Lacazette could be on the bench again.The Frenchman has so much quality that he should be a guaranteed starter, but our attack already has three, if Lacazette starts alongside Aubameyang, Ozil and Mkhitaryan, then we need a formation change.

Will Wenger change things up after such a handsome win though? Changing a winning team is not something Arsene does often, so Lacazette may again start from the bench.

We need this win for our league hopes, never mind bragging rights. We’ve got enough in our locker to do it, but our 2-0 win earlier in the season showed that we need to have an active press, and attack using the speed we have.

Plus, we’ve got our Wembley record to maintain.

Predicted lineup – Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Ozil, Aubameyang, Lacazette

Predicted scoreline – 2-1 to The Arsenal

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7 thoughts on “North London Derby Preview.

  1. A tricky decision re the attack, Jack is the better player but last week (for a change) Ramsey put the chances away.

    Either way its a nice dilemma to be in. The defence however is a different kettle of fish. Why defenders were not high priority purchases in January is beyond me. I wish someone could teach Bellerin to centre a ball.

    A message to whoever maybe between the sticks – watch for the trailing foot, they have us beaten hands down at that game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They really do. The fact their simulation has stimulated discussion is testament to their ‘art’ as neither were penalties last week. I’d find away to fit jack in, I think he has to play.

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  2. As an additional comment to my agreement I’d like to add the Jack Wilshere’s benefit to the team, in my opinion is that his initial movement is forward, either as a ball carrier or by virtue of a pass. Very little sideways stuff from Jack. He may not tuck them away but he keeps the momentum going, a vital aspect of attacking football.

    Ramsey all to quickly opts for the sideways or reverse ball, he frequently over weights his passes or gives it to the opposition. these comments are not intended as a personal attack on him, but a considered observation over the last few seasons.

    Ramsey was impressive in our last game, but whose to say that Wilshere would not performed equally as well.

    I don’t believe I need to state my preference beyond my comments.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here. Attacking wise, Rambo is useful but he’s far from balanced. Jack gives his all in both attack and defence. I’d go for both!

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