Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Arsenal take on North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur this weekend in arguably the biggest derby clash in recent history as both teams still have a fighting chance of winning the Premier League title.
The Gunners head in to the encounter with a confidence issue after suffering a shock 2-1 defeat at home to Swansea City in midweek, leaving them six points off league leaders Leicester City.
Tottenham also succumbed to defeat after losing 1-0 at West Ham United on Wednesday, but they stay three points ahead of Arsene Wenger’s men and in better shape ahead of the derby.
Arsenal have injuries with Santi Cazorla, Laurent Koscielny, Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Petr Cech the most notable absences with the latter pulling up in the final stages against Swansea.
It leaves Arsene Wenger with a fairly depleted squad going in to their fixture at White Hart Lane, and he must make a couple of tough choices in regards to his starting eleven.
As shown by the graphic above, Wenger’s options are limited but there is still plenty of quality on offer.
The back five seemingly picks itself, with David Ospina coming in for Cech, Gabriel Paulista keeping his place at centre-back while the fullbacks remain unchanged after a string of decent performances.
But in midfield is where changes are needed, and the opposition must be taken in to consideration.
Aaron Ramsey is undoubtedly one of Wenger’s favoured players, yet playing him in central midfield leaves the Gunners too open as the Wales international doesn’t have the natural defensive instincts.
Francis Coquelin and Mohamed Elneny in contrast are defensive-minded, and their energy in the middle could prove key to Arsenal winning the midfield battle against a very good Spurs side.
Despite his lack of form, Alexis Sanchez must start while Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Ramsey in a forward position should be automatic starts for Wenger for this fixture regardless of previous performances.
Danny Welbeck, Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott all provide decent attacking options off the bench.