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Arsenal vs. Tottenham: Premier League - Predicted Lineup & Bench

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It’s the North London Derby, Arteta’s first as manager.

Arsenal FC v Leicester City - Premier League Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Four matches to go in the Premier League season. Arsenal start round 35 in 8th place, just two points out of sixth and only one ahead of their North London rivals. The Europa League is still well within reach, but on Sunday only one thing matters - moving four points clear of Tottenham with three matches remaining.

Dropping two points against Leicester after suffering Nketiah’s red card was slightly disappointing in the moment, but Arteta clearly has this squad hitting the level Arsenal found right before the break. The Gunners are unbeaten in their last five Premier League matches and ready for a clash on Sunday. Will Mikel utilize the formula that has been working lately or introduce a new wrinkle?

Check out the gallery below for the predicted starting XI versus Tottenham.

Notes on the XI

  • Arteta seems to have found success with this Arsenal squad implementing a back three and three attackers up top. In such a critical match, there is little reason for him to adjust that strategy.
  • In the attack Nketiah is suspended after his red card, Martinelli is out injured, and Reiss Nelson appears to be a clear substitute in Mikel’s eyes at the moment. Auba starts and Saka continually impresses, which leaves Lacazette vs. Pepe. Given the style of play lately, Lacazette seems the best bet given his ability to hold up the ball, despite his misses in front of goal. Pepe should see the pitch in the 2nd half, an excellent chance for him to run at the Spurs back line.
  • If it’s working, stick with it. Torriera is back in the fold and Willock has had solid moments under Arteta, but Xhaka and Ceballos have formed a nice partnership in the middle of the pitch. Similarly it’s fairly easy to pencil in Martinez, Tierney and Bellerin.
  • If everyone was healthy (and eligible, Saliba) Arsenal would have at least 8 options for the back 3. Instead, Arteta most likely will lean on Mustafi and Luiz once again, leaving the final spot for Rob Holding or Sokratis, with Sead Kolasinac as the emergency option. Saed has been a part of a few clean sheets recently, but I’m giving the nod to Holding against Kane and Son.
  • This leaves out Mesut Ozil and Mattéo Guendouzi from not just the XI, but the bench below. Since neither have appeared in the last few matches, for different reasons, it’s hard to expect Arteta to toss them back in against Spurs. If either of the two were to appear I could see Ozil as a sub in the second half based on how the match has set up.

Bench

  1. Matt Macey
  2. Cedric Soares
  3. Ainsley Maitland-Niles
  4. Sokratis
  5. Sead Kolasinac
  6. Lucas Torriera
  7. Joe Willock
  8. Reiss Nelson
  9. Pepe

How to watch

Sunday (7/12) at 11:30 am ET / 8:30 am PT on NBC Sports.