Arsenal face Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday desperately needing a victory to stay in touch with the Premier League’s top four.
The Gunners currently trail table-topping Manchester City by 12 points and a title challenge already looks beyond Arsene Wenger’s side.
Arsenal lie sixth in the standings after losing four of their opening 11 league games and head into the match four points behind their north London rivals.
Olivier Giroud is a major doubt for Arsenal after suffering a thigh injury while playing for France. Rob Holding and Santi Cazorla remain on the sidelines.
Arsenal’s recent record against Spurs is a cause for concern, with the Gunners drawing two and losing four of the last six meetings with Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Despite that run of results Arsenal are favourites to win the game having won their last 10 league fixtures at the Emirates Stadium.
They have won five out of five at home this term, scoring 13 goals and conceding just four. A victory on Saturday would see them equal their best ever start to a season at the Emirates recorded during the 2007/08 campaign.
Spurs have numerous injury problems to contend with ahead of the game, with a number of key players fighting to be fit.
Dele Alli and Harry Kane both withdrew from the England squad for the games against Germany and Brazil, although Pochettino has confirmed the pair should return against Arsenal.
Harry Winks, Jan Vertonghen and Hugo Lloris are also in contention after injuries, but Toby Alderweireld, Michel Vorm and Victor Wanyama will miss the match.
While Arsenal have been strong at home in recent times, they face a Tottenham side who have thrived on the road during 2017.
Spurs have won 10 away games this year, more than any other Premier League club, and notched 37 goals during that period.
Pochettino hasn’t lost against Arsenal since taking over Spurs in 2014, although he will be concerned about his side’s ongoing struggles against last season’s top six clubs.
Spurs have secured just nine points from a possible 48 against the top six since Pochettino’s appointment, and defeats by Chelsea and Manchester United this season suggest it’s a problem he’s yet to get to grips with.
Arsenal’s form at the Emirates has been exceptional this season and they look capable of edging what is likely to be a high-octane encounter.
Arsenal starting XI: Cech; Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal; Bellerin, Ramsey, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Ozil, Sanchez; Lacazette.
Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies; Trippier, Dembele, Dier, Rose; Eriksen, Alli; Kane.
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham.
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