Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta faced the media after last night’s fantastic victory against Rapid Wien in the Europa League.
The game barely mattered as we had already qualified for the knockout stages. Arteta was happy about his side’s display at the Emirates, but the focus of his press conference was on Sunday’s North London derby.
The game against Tottenham is the biggest fixture of our season yet, and the fact that they are on top of the Premier League table makes them the favourites going into the clash this weekend.
Arteta has a lot to consider regarding his team selection. Our form in the league has been woeful in recent weeks, but the players who have become regulars in Europe have been performing incredibly well.
Alexandre Lacazette made a huge claim for a start on Sunday with an incredible display last night. Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah were also among the goals, while Reiss Nelson was excellent as well.
However, the standout player last night was arguably Ainsley Maitland-Niles. The 23-year-old finally got a start in his favourite central midfield position, and his performance impressed a number of Arsenal supporters.
Could Maitland-Niles start against Spurs?
Arteta was asked if Maitland-Niles’ performance could get him a start on Sunday. The Arsenal boss didn’t give too much away but admitted that the versatile Englishman has a chance.
He told Football London: “What he’s done today the great thing with Ainsley is that he can fill various positions and that’s a great thing to have around the squad.”
“He’s played on the left as a wing-back, he’s played on the right, he’s played as a holding midfielder, he can play as an attacking midfielder. And again, the sort of performances tonight helps, and he has a chance to play like everybody else.”