Torreira and Lacazette start, Predicted Arsenal lineup (4-2-3-1) to face Tottenham Hotspur

Arsenal have the opportunity to return to winning ways when they host Tottenham Hotspur in the weekend’s north London derby in the Premier League.

The Gunners started off the campaign with successive league wins, but that run was halted at Anfield last weekend where Liverpool registered a comfortable 3-1 win in the end.

Still, there were some positives with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe creating scoring chances, and things could have been different, had they found the net early on in the encounter.

Team News:

Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney and Dinos Mavropanos are still going through their individual training programmes after recovering from their respective injuries.

Rob Holding and Emile Smith-Rowe, on the other hand, have received some gametime with the development side but are unlikely to return to the first-team mix.

Mesut Ozil, however, is available for the north London derby with manager Unai Emery confirming that the German is in a better physical shape than last week.

Predicted Lineup:

Bernd Leno has been the first-choice pick for the goalkeeping duties ahead of Damian Martinez this term. The German will certainly start between the sticks and may be up for a busy afternoon, should the Gunners defence fail to cope with Spurs’ attack force.

In the defence, Ainsley Maitland-Niles remains the best option available for the right-back role with Bellerin out of contention. On the left side of the backline, Sead Kolasinac should make his first start of the season ahead of Nacho Monreal, who could part ways with the club before the European transfer deadline.

At the heart of the defence, David Luiz should once more partner Sokratis Papastathopoulos but the Brazilian surely needs to up his game after being guilty for the second half goals conceded in the 3-1 defeat at Anfield. Sokratis will certainly be tasked with handling the physical battle with Harry Kane.

In the centre of the park, Granit Xhaka is a certainty to feature with Unai Emery regarding the Swiss as his first-choice midfielder as well as the leader of the side. Alongside him, Lucas Torreira could be rewarded with his maiden start of the season on the back of his consolation strike at Anfield, where he showed the ambition to make a difference.

Further forward, Dani Ceballos should maintain his place in the starting XI despite an average showing in Merseyside. The Spaniard bagged a brace in his home league debut earlier this month and Emery should continue to back the midfielder, who may start in the number 10 role and drop deeper when required.

In the frontline, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe should start for the second game on the bounce and they should slot into the left and right wing positions respectively with the return of Alexandre Lacazette to the starting XI.

Lacazette’s concerns with an ankle problem was highlighted by Emery as a potential reason for the cameo role at Anfield. The Frenchman should, however, return to the lineup with Emery suggesting that the signs are ‘very positive’ ahead of the derby.

Predicted XI: Bernd Leno, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis Papastathopoulous, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Dani Ceballos, Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette

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