Arsenal look to continue their title charge as they head across north London to take on rivals Tottenham in another massive north London derby.
The Gunners currently sit with a slender lead at the top of the Premier League, with Antonio Conte’s Spurs side sitting precariously in fifth, two points outside a Champions League spot and 11 points behind the Gunners as it stands.
The home side often gets the edge between the two sides, but form suggests that the Gunners may be in a position to change the tables, and so does the combined XI.
GK: Aaron Ramsdale
Both Ramsdale and Lloris are strong shot-stoppers but both have the tendency to make errors which can cost their side (see: Lloris against Aston Villa). However, we’ve gone with Ramsdale for his added offerings when it comes to playing out of defence, with his excellent range of passing more than Lloris can muster, while he also offers a higher save percentage and more clean sheets than the Frenchman.
RB: Ben White
Irrespective of Ben White’s excellent form, the pickings across on the Tottenham side of north London are slim, with neither Matt Doherty nor Emerson Royal offering much confidence and Djed Spence bizarrely frozen out.
That being said, White has made the transition from the heart of defence to right-back seamlessly, and looks as though he has been playing there for far longer than he actually has. Takehiro Tomiyasu, who was previously a nailed on starter at the Emirates, cannot get back into the side, and that speaks volumes.
CB: Cristian Romero
A stalwart of Tottenham’s defence, a World Cup winner and still only 24-years-old, Romero is Spurs’ best defender and only likely to get better. Perfectly suited to a back three, where his occasional rash tendencies can be masked and he can step forward with the ball, the centre-back just edges out William Saliba for this spot.
While defensive partner Saliba has taken all the credit this season, Gabriel has been brilliant and understated, with the Brazilian beginning to cut more and more errors out of his game. A force in the air and quick enough to recover if beaten, the 23-year-old, like Romero, is only going to get better and has the potential to develop into one of the best defenders in Europe.
LB: Olexander Zinchenko
Back fit just in time to take part, Ukrainian Zinchenko has had his fair share of injuries this season and continues to look suspect defensively at times. However, he offers Arsenal excellent tactical security, and while less attacking than his Spurs counterpart Ivan Perisic, he is often integral to the Gunners when on the pitch.
CM: Thomas Partey
The Ghanaian steered Arsenal to victory over Spurs at the Emirates Stadium with an excellent strike from 25 yards out, and is likely to have a pivotal role once more as he remains vital to Mikel Arteta’s side’s build-up play, especially in recent weeks with the absence of Zinchenko.
With Mohamed Elneny a clear step-down, the Gunners will need to rely on Partey to defy the odds and stay fit for the rest of the season to end up coming anywhere near the Premier League trophy in May.
CM: Rodrigo Bentancur
Probably the hardest spot on the pitch to choose, Granit Xhaka has been in excellent form for Arsenal so far this season, and appears rejuvenated in his new role in Mikel Arteta’s side.
However, we’ve opted for Rodrigo Bentancur, who is a massive part of Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side. The Uruguayan has, like Xhaka, added goals to his game this season, including several vital strikes that have changed results for the Lilywhites, and in his absence they look a shadow of the side they are with him in it.
CAM: Martin Odegaard
The current Premier League player of the month, Odegaard has reached new heights this season as he has helped propel Arsenal into a lead at the top of the table with the season at the halfway mark.
The 24-year-old former Real Madrid man, now the Gunners captain, has popped up with seven goals and five assists in sixteen outings from midfield, and is the heartbeat of Mikel Arteta’s side.
RW: Bukayo Saka
Arsenal and England’s best right-winger, Saka continues to flourish and has worked himself into conversations with the likes of Vinicius Junior and Phil Foden as one of the best young attackers in World football.
The 21-year-old, who has started every Premier League game so far this season, has picked up six goals and six assists in that time, and stopping him will be no easy task for the Tottenham defence.
ST: Harry Kane
Speaking of easy tasks, Harry Kane’s inclusion is a no-brainer. Continuing to bang in goals at a frightening rate and now one away from being Tottenham’s all-time goalscoring record, his season is going under the radar courtesy of the exploits of Erling Haaland, but the 29 year old is on course for a 30 goal season if he continues at his current rate, something that he has managed just once before in his career.
With a north London derby up next, few would bet against him doing so against his boyhood club, for their arch rivals.
LW: Gabriel Martinelli
Heung-Min Son’s drop off in form (he has scored in just two games this season) combined with Gabriel Martinelli’s continued rise has made this decision much closer than it was six months ago, and it the Brazilian that edges out the South Korean in our side.
Like Saka, the 21-year-old has started all 17 games of the Premier League season, returning 7 goals and two assists in that time, and even with the imminent arrival of Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk, he has made the left-wing spot his own in the Arsenal XI.
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