Arsenal will take on Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby at the Emirates Stadium in a crucial match on Saturday.
The Gunners are at the top of the table with 18 points from seven matches, while Tottenham are third with 17 from the same number of matches.
As such, the league table could be dramatically altered by the result of Saturday’s match. Both teams will want to get at least 1 point to avoid jeopardizing their position in the league table and with both clubs in good form, the clash promises to be a mouth-watering one.
So here are three things to watch for in the match.
Arsenal’s ‘problem’ of plenty upfront
Arsenal are spoiled for choices as far as their attack is concerned. So much so that Fabio Vieira will have to start on the bench despite scoring a screamer against Brentford in the Gunners’ last league match.
Martin Odegaard will be back from injury and he’ll take up the playmaking role for the Gunners. Add to that the tireless work-rate of Bukayo Saka and the penetrating skills of Gabriel Martinelli, and one has a brilliant attack that can unsettle any defense.
The abundance of Arsenal’s attacking resources mean the likes of Eddie Nketiah will have no place in the starting line-up once again. Coach Mikel Arteta has given Gabriel Jesus the responsibility to get the goals for the Gunners. The Brazilian has 4 goals on the season.
The visitors will take up the challenge with three central defenders: Clement Lenglet, Eric Dier and Cristian Romero. In addition, Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur will lend solidity to the defense with their presence inside their own half.
Tottenham wing-backs will try to spoil Arsenal party
Ivan Perisic is likely to start as the left wing-back with Emerson Royal making a return to the flank as the right wing-back. Those two will provide an attacking edge to Tottenham forcing Arsenal’s full-backs to be wary of their overlapping and crossing abilities.
However, Arsenal are going to play Ben White, who can also play as a centre-back, as the right-back and the English defender is likely to stay inside his own half for the majority of the match.
Should Oleksandr Zinchenko be able to start, Arsenal will have an attacking full-back of their own and might often switch to a back-three comprising of William Saliba, Gabriel and White during the course of the match.
One can definitely expect to watch an interesting battle on the flanks on Saturday.
Tottenham’s counter-attacking threat
Tottenham have a speedy attack and the likes of Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski will try to tear into the Arsenal defense with their quick runs.
Son scored a memorable second half hat-trick against Leicester City in the Spurs’ 6-2 win in their last match and he will undoubtedly try to exploit the spaces inside the Arsenal half.
Son’s form will mean that Richarlison, who scored for Brazil against Tunisia, will start on the bench. The Brazilian will have to wait to make his mark if he gets a chance to come on as a substitute.
Antonio Conte will also pin his hopes on the talismanic Harry Kane to score from one of the aerial balls played into the Gunners’ box.
Arsenal usually like to play with a high defensive line and Tottenham will try to capitalize on that with their counter-attacks. It remains to be seen whether the likes of Gabriel, Saliba and White are able to close their forwards down.