Arsenal welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates Stadium for Sunday’s north London derby.
The Gunners and Spurs are both unbeaten heading into the weekend’s Premier League clash. The game could be a free-scoring contest with both teams preferring to play on the front foot.
Mikel Arteta’s side will be favourites on paper with Spurs having won once in the league at the Emirates Stadium, but they can’t be underestimated under the tutelage of Ange Postecoglou.
The former Australia and Celtic manager has brought a positive mindset within the squad and Spurs are a better attacking unit at present than previously under Antonio Conte or Jose Mourinho.
Ahead of Sunday’s early kick-off, here is our combined Arsenal and Spurs line-up.
Goalkeeper: David Raya made a surprise debut in goal for Arsenal against Everton last weekend. The Spaniard was composed in a comfortable 1-0 victory and replicated the performance in the 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League.
Guglielmo Vicario has also had a fine start to his Spurs career since his move from Empoli with two shut-outs, but we would personally prefer Raya between the sticks as he is far better with the ball at his feet and can deliver more accurate long balls.
Defenders: Ben White started in central defence in the first three games of the season before reverting to the right-back spot where he made a name for himself last term. The Englishman is now an accomplished right-back, who provides the right balance between attack and defence.
Spurs have Pedro Porro and Emerson Royal in their ranks, but both are yet to prove themselves over an extended run of games. Porro has impressed with his clever piece of distribution, but can be defensively vulnerable which is the same case with Emerson. White is our pick at right-back.
In central defence, we would prefer Cristian Romero and William Saliba as a pairing. Romero has the tendency to be wayward with his defending at times, but he is Spurs’ best centre-back by a stretch. The Argentine also provides the set-piece threat from corners.
Saliba has likewise been the Gunners’ best central defender. Gabriel Magalhaes would be a favourite for some Arsenal fans, but the Brazilian has the knack of making the odd error. At left-back, Destiny Udogie gets our nod after a brilliant start to his career at Spurs.
The youngster has two assists from five outings and has impressed with his defensive contributions too. Zinchenko is better with the ball at his feet and likes to play from an inverted position, but we have left him out. He has made just two league starts with no goal involvements.
Midfielders: Declan Rice is a nailed-on starter in the number six role in our view. Yves Bissouma has had a fresh lease of life under Postecoglou, but Rice has been more consistent since the start of the campaign. He scored the match winner against Manchester United earlier this month.
In central midfield, we have gone with Martin Odegaard and James Maddison, who have had fine starts to the campaign. Odegaard has three goals in seven outings and has been pivotal to creating several chances too. Maddison has two goals and two assists from six games. He has taken no time to adapt, having joined Spurs from Leicester City this summer.
Forwards: Bukayo Saka is a nailed-on starter from the right wing for Arsenal. The Gunners graduate has three goals and four assists already this term and he gets the nod over Dejan Kulusevski. Similarly, Heung-min Son starts in our combined XI. The South Korean star has drawn blank in four games this season, but he scored a hat-trick versus Burnley. He is Spurs’ main goal threat after Harry Kane’s exit. We would start him up front.
Gabriel Martinelli would have been the go-to choice on the left flank if he was not injured. Gabriel Jesus was another tempting option for us, but we have decided to go with Leandro Trossard on the back of his exceptional form, right from pre-season. Trossard scored the vital equaliser in the Community Shield before the Gunners won on penalties.
The Belgian star replaced Martinelli early on against Everton last weekend. He made the difference with a first-time left-footed strike to beat Jordan Pickford for the only goal of the game. On Wednesday, the 28-year-old carried over the good form with a goal and an assist versus PSV. The former Brighton & Hove Albion man deserves his spot on the left wing.