Arsenal take on Tottenham Hotspur in our final pre-season game this afternoon and we expect Mikel Arteta to name a strong starting XI. The fixture, on paper, is a friendly, but there are no friends in a North London derby, and we’ll see that later today.
The Gunners suffered a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea last weekend at the Emirates. The result really doesn’t matter and there were a lot of positives to take from that game. However, it was individual mistakes that cost us once again.
With the new Premier League season less than a week away, Arsenal have to step up. A win against the enemy today will surely lift the spirits, and we expect Arteta to make three changes to his lineup from last weekend.
Predicted Arsenal XI vs Tottenham
Thomas Partey is guaranteed to miss the game today, as are Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Magalhaes. Olympic gold medalist Gabriel Martinelli is yet to return, but everyone else should be available for selection.
Bernd Leno will start in goal against Spurs. We expect Calum Chambers, Pablo Mari and Kieran Tierney to start again, but Ben White will likely come in for Rob Holding to make his first start in an Arsenal shirt since his £50 million move.
Partey’s injury opens the door for Albert Sambi Lokonga to come in. The Belgian has really impressed us in pre-season and it will be interesting to see how fares against a decent Spurs side should he get the nod.
Granit Xhaka, who looks set to stay at Arsenal, will also likely start. He came off the bench to score last week, and after a phenomenal Euro 2020 campaign with Switzerland, his confidence couldn’t be higher. Hopefully, he’ll deliver again today.
Our front four will likely remain unchanged. Emile Smith Rowe in attacking midfield, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left, Nicolas Pepe on the right and Alexandre Lacazette is expected to lead the line, and if they all click, we’ll have a field day against Spurs.
Bukayo Saka is back after his break, but he has only had a couple of training sessions. It is unlikely that he will start, but he’ll surely be an option for Arteta to bring on in the second half.
Here’s how we think Arsenal will line up today: