Charlie Nicholas would pick Koscielny over Alderweireld and Vertonghen

Laurent Koscielny

Charlie Nicholas claims he would take Laurent Koscielny over Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Pundit Charlie Nicholas has told Sky Sports that he would go with Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny over Tottenham's defensive duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen.

Arsenal were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday night, in what is certainly considered to be terrible preparation for Sunday's huge clash against Tottenham.

The Gunners now host their fierce North London rivals this weekend, who will be sensing some joy in front of goal having witnessed Arsenal's terrible defending against Bayern.

Yet, it's worth pointing out that Arsenal were missing their star centre back Koscielny at the Allianz Arena, with Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker starting the game in light of the Frenchman's injury.

There is a hope that Koscielny will be fit to face Tottenham, but Gunners legend Charlie Nicholas was asked by Sky Sports whether he would take Spurs' centre back pairing Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, who have enjoyed a superb start to the season, over what Arsenal have in defence - but his response was clear, suggesting that Koscielny is by far the best defender out of the three.

"No, my first choice would be Koscielny - I'd pick Koscielny before those two," said Nicholas. "I think they've glued well, they've both played for the Belgian international team and they've worked well, but Aston Villa still gave them a few issues, and they were a half-baked team at one stage," he added.

One of the keys behind Tottenham's great start to the season has been their defensive record, having conceded just nine goals in 11 Premier League games this season - the joint-second best record in the division.

Arsenal have the joint-best record with just eight goals conceded, but that performance against Bayern has raised question marks over how the Gunners defence can perform without Koscielny in there.

Whether the Frenchman plays this weekend or not could have a huge bearing on the result of the game, and his importance to Arsene Wenger's side may well show that Nicholas is right in his assertion that he would pick Koscielny over Tottenham's centre back pairing, despite their brilliant displays under Mauricio Pochettino so far this term.

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