Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur: Team news and predicted line-ups for north London derby as both clubs face selection crisis,
Arsenal and Tottenham both have serious selection problems ahead of the first north London derby of the season on Sunday.
The bitter rivals will know the pressure surrounding this game has intensified after both sides suffered their first defeats of the Premier League season last time out.
The Gunners were ruthlessly picked apart by Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday evening, while less than 24 hours later Newcastle stunned Spurs at home.
Given the significance of the fixture at any stage of the season, both Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino will be well aware a second successive defeat already at this stage of the season could be fatal.
While neither side can lay claim to having serious title ambitions, neither will want the chasm between the Reds and reigning champions Manchester City to widen any further.
The Gunners only have one fit left-back – Sead Kolasinac – following the departure of Nacho Monreal to Real Sociedad yesterday.
Monreal had started all three of the Gunners’ opening Premier League fixtures, with Kolasinac being eased back into action after he was the victim of an attempted carjacking.
Emery is quite literally spoilt for choice in attack, but his tactical tinkering did not come off at Anfield.
The Spaniard dropped Alexandre Lacazette to the bench on Merseyside, but Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos looked shaky under the intense pressing of Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Pepe and Ceballos should both still keep their places however, with Emery likely to try and attack a nervy Spurs side.
Pochettino has a selection headache ahead of Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham missing FOUR players for the match.
Defenders Kyle Walker-Peters and Juan Foyth have both been confirmed to miss the Emirates Stadium clash, meaning Serge Aurier could play competitive club football for the first time since February.
Record signing Tanguy Ndombele is also out of the clash, meaning Pochettino is light at the back.
This issue could be solved if Eric Dier is passed fit for Sunday’s match, as he can provide cover in defence. The England international is currently being assessed due to a hip problem and is considered a doubt, as is Dele Alli.