Jamie O’Hara has heralded Granit Xhaka’s red card for Arsenal ahead of Sunday’s derby encounter at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Switzerland was sent off after 24 minutes of Arsenal’s League Cup semi-final at Liverpool on Thursday night.
Therefore, the Gunners had to play with 10 men for nearly 70 minutes against Jurgen Klopp’s outfit at Anfield.
And with the North London derby coming this weekend, O’Hara, a former Tottenham player, claims it’s ‘perfect’ for his old side that Mikel Arteta’s troops had to exert so much energy before such a massive affair.
However, the Lilywhites certainly won’t be taking anything for granted.
Yes Arsenal exhausted themselves at Liverpool, with a number of players voluntarily collapsing to the turf once the full-time whistle sounded after earning a stunning 0-0 draw.
But this Gunners side clearly has an abundance of bottle and it would be a mistake for Spurs to believe that a tiring 70 minutes on Thursday means they will roll over on the Sunday.
One definite advantage for Tottenham is Xhaka’s suspension.
The Swiss midfielder, who cost £30 million in 2016, will play no part in the contest this weekend, which is massive and that’s because, well, Arsenal have nobody else.
With Emile Smith Rowe injured, Martin Odegaard ill, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny absent due to the Africa Cup of Nations and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Roma, Albert Sambi Lokonga is the Emirates Stadium club’s only recognised midfielder.
Their exhausting clash on Merseyside, combined with Arteta’s lack of options, means Arsenal could be in trouble.