After finishing another season in the shadow of Arsenal, Tottenham will be looking to vent out their frustration when they visit the Emirates for the big Sunday derby. Both the teams have started the campaign from where they had left last season and looking at their past meetings, there is no doubt that this will be a cracker of a game.
Although Arsenal have lost just once in their last 20 Premier League games till now and have scored 42 in the last 43 fixtures against Tottenham, one thing that cannot go unnoticed is that Arsenal have averaged the lowest average of 1.59 points per game in the month of November in Arsene Wenger’s reign. There is every possibility that the Gunners would end up on the wrong side of the boat on Sunday.
Though Arsenal are having everything going in their way at the moment, here are 3 key tactics, which Wenger to get spot on to assure a win against Spurs.
Playing Olivier Giroud up front
After years of suffering by the injury curse, which has left innumerable Arsenal first team players out during crucial times of the season, this finally looks a positive season for the Gunners. They not only have their centre-forward back from the injury but he has also shown some lethal goal scoring touch up front.
Tottenham are susceptible to Arsenal’s aerial threats that they had even conceded a header to Bendtner once. They just can’t seem to tackle Arsenal from corners. Which is why Giroud will play such an important role.
Tottenham’s two centre backs Vertonghen and Dier are shorter in height than Giroud. We know it won’t necessarily matter, but with the form Giroud is in and the fact he has scored two of his last 3 goals in a header, he could bring in a great advantage with his height.
Securing the wings
Theo Walcott is reportedly fit to play in the north London derby and fans will be all cheering for him considering that he is having one of his rare good seasons this year. But Wenger should and I think he will, start with Rambo.
Danny Rose is a dangerous wingback and no matter how fast Walcott might be, he will find a good competitor in Rose. Ramsey defends better than Walcott, who has just learned that art this season. His sublime pass that met Giroud’s head in the midweek’s game against Ludogorets clearly justifies that. And with Hector Bellerin providing occasional flashy runs, Rose might have to be cautious and could be less productive in attack considering Ramsey and Bellerin’s combined work rate.
A more creative midfield
We can’t play Xhaka in the midfield as there is a chance he might break the referee’s ankle in a mistimed tackle, which will not only delay the game but also get Arsenal one man short. He could have been a value addition, though. Now, playing Elneny and Coquelin is pretty safe but both lack the passing quality that the likes of Xhaka or Cazorla can provide while going forward.
There is mixed news about Cazorla’s returning to the squad and I sincerely pray he makes it. Only Ozil, Sanchez, and Ramsey might not prove to be enough against the Spurs who will be looking for a draw at Emirates. Cazorla will really give us an extra edge from the deep midfield and his short figure could also easily slip around Victor Wanyama.
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