The upcoming clash against North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur is always considered one of the most highly anticipated games of the season for Arsenal fans. The upcoming tie, however, is likely to have Gooners much closer to the edge of their seat. The Spuds have heavily strengthened this transfer window in theirs effort to reduce the effect of Gareth Bale’s imminent departure while also trying to finally gain ascendancy over our boys in red. Historically, we all know this fixture is known for goals and www.onlinebettingoffers.com have confidence that the game will have goals, so that some bookies will refund certain bets if it’s a 0-0 draw.
Looking at form, both teams have looked relatively strong in recent weeks. While Arsenal suffered a shaky start against Villa, they have steadied the ship after good wins against Fenerbahce and Fulham. On the other side of the coin, Tottenham, even with the absence of Gareth Bale, is no doubt a more complete team. They have enjoyed two wins for two in the Premier League and despite not yet scoring from open play in the Premiership, have been very strong in the Europa League registering two convincing wins.
Looking at the Arsenal squad, the biggest casualty is Lukas Podolski who will face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after succumbing to a hamstring injury in the win over Fenerbahce in midweek. Wenger has revealed the German could be out of action for up to three months, further compounding worries over the depth of the squad. Luckily, Ramsey and Wilshere have been cleared to play after Wenger revealed they only picked up a few bumps and bruises against Fenerbahce.
Podolski’s absence almost certainly means that Spanish maestro Santi Cazorla will be shifted to the left with Rosicky returning to the starting line-up after being rested in midweek. The only other change-up in the formation is Laurent Koscielny, who is very likely to return to the starting eleven after being given extra time off to allow his head gash to heal. Sagna will then be able to revert to his more familiar role out on the right with Jenkinson sitting on the bench.
In terms of the Spuds, we all know that the team we will come up against a completely different set-up to last season with their midfield getting a complete overhaul. The new additions of Paulinho, Capoue and Chadli are significant signings so it will be interesting to see how Ramsey, Wilshere and Rosicky cope. The midfield battle will be key to the outcome of this match and hopefully the greater understanding between our midfield trio can give us a sizable advantage over the our foes, who have not really had time to gel.
Looking at other new faces it will also be interesting to see how Koscielny and Mertesacker cope with Roberto Soldado who has looked dangerous in recent weeks. The Spaniards goal-scoring record in La Liga is very strong and there is no denying he will a threat to an Arsenal side that is sometimes susceptible to defensive lapses. Hopefully Koscielny is back to his aggressive best!
From a personal point of view, it is a hard game to pick. As an Arsenal supporter, though, I will always support our boys in red and am optimistic the home support will get them over the line in a hard fought win!
Sagna Koscielny Mertesacker (c) Gibbs
Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1