Next weekend’s North London Derby is looking like a season-defining moment for both Arsenal and Tottenham, and other than being a fierce rivalry, it is also the definition of a six-pointer. If the Gunners win we will be just one point behind Spurs, but if our opponents win they will be seven points clear of us. This is a massive difference.
Tottenham have a few injury worries of their own ahead of the game at the Emirates, but Arsenal are looking like they have a defensive crisis of worsening proportions. It was bad enough before last weeks Man City match, when Wenger was questioned about why he played Francis Coquelin as centre-back, alongside Monreal and Koscielny. “I can explain to you that Mertesacker came in yesterday morning sick and that Holding had a thigh strain,” Le Prof said.
“Debuchy just comes back from a long time absent.
“I don’t see that as a big problem.
“To play in the middle, if you are a defensive midfielder it is exactly the same.
“I don’t think that was a problem in our game.”
Wenger has no problem with playing midfielders in defence, as we have seen with Elneny and Gabriel (before he was sold) earlier this season, but it is hardly an ideal situation in a big game like this. There is still doubt that Holding has recovered yet from his injury, but there is some hope that Mustafi and Chambers have returned to training. But they are also very lacking in match fitness after such long injuries.
But the news that Koscielny has suffered a recurrence of his achilles problem while on international duty is very worrying as well, and if he can’t play through the pain then who should be our back 3 against the Spuds?
I am going to go for a tentative choice of Mustafi, Mertesacker and Monreal, but wouldn’t be in the least surprised if Wenger chose Coquelin again after last week’s display.
Who would you choose?