Arsenal are aiming to bounce back from their midweek disappointment as they welcome Tottenham Hotspur to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Despite the setback on Wednesday night, the Gunners remain top of the Premier League form table, with their North London rivals still breathing down their necks.
Tottenham fielded another strong eleven during their 2-1 victory over Anderlecht earlier in the week, a move which Mauricio Pochettino said he was confident in doing.
Arsenal on the other hand don’t seem to have a choice in their starting lineup these days, following a serious first-team injury pile up leaving their options very restricted.
There’s an 80% chance of us seeing Laurent Koscielny line up in the starting eleven, and we will wait to see the results of a scan to confirm whether he can play.
Hector Bellerin is the latest to be hit by injury, and the youngster will definitely miss Sunday’s game following a groin problem picked up in training.
Joining the Spanish international on the sidelines will be Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who are expected to link up in training after the international break.
David Ospina hasn’t recovered from his shoulder injury yet, so we will have youngster Matt Macey on the bench again this weekend.
Long-term sufferers Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky are also missing from the selection choices, something that will continue until the new year.
Arsenal need to respond from the defeat to Bayern and what better way to do it than a win over their North London rivals. As always, this will be a huge game for both clubs but Arsenal have a starting eleven capable of pulling off a result despite their injury setbacks.
When looking at the squad, the only real problem is our right hand side, but Debuchy is picking up a run of games so we should see a more confident performance from him. I think Wenger will have told his players to go all out for this one, because we’ve got an international break and then a few players returning to action.
One To Watch: Olivier Giroud
Despite the result on Wednesday night, the Frenchman put in another hard-working perfromance and got his reward with a very impressive goal. Sure, it didn’t happen for us against Bayern but Giroud will be craving the chance to play with freedom on Sunday. He’s got to continue his form before Walcott returns, and with a chance to play 90 minutes this weekend he should be bagging a goal due to there being no real attacking options on our bench.
Predicted XI: Cech, Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Campbell, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud
Despite returning to training, Nabil Bentaleb is not yet match fit, and joining him are Nacer Chadli and Alex Pritchard who remain sidelined.
Defender Danny Rose has recovered from a minor leg injury he picked up against Aston Villa, and will almost definitely feature on the backline.
Spurs striker Heung-Min Son is back in the squad after missing six matches with a foot injury and will challenge Harry Kane for a starting spot although you have to see the Englishman in the frame.
Tottenham have recorded some consistent results over the season but have failed to look genuinely threatening against some of the big boys. However, in a derby like this form goes out the window and it comes down to how they play on the day. Harry Kane is finding his feet again following a hat-trick during lat October and another goal in the Europa League against Anderlecht.
This is an incredibly young Spurs side and their lack of expereince in a derby game could prove to be pivotal on Sunday, but if they can conquer that then it really could go either way. Kane will be tightly marked to reduce the chances of a repeat of last season at White Hart Lane. They will make the Gunners work hard because they know the lack of attacking presence that lies on the home sides bench.
One To Watch: Eric Dier
He’s been popping up in the newspapers a lot this week following his call-up to the England squad, and it seems Dier is finally finding his way in the Premier League. The youngster has transformed from defensive work to midfield maestro and has worked his socks off to become a regular name on the starting sheet. He’s tall, strong and will let very little get in the way of his defence so expect players like Giroud and Ozil to become frustrated by his tireless effort.
Predicted XI: Lloris, Walker, Alderweield, Vertonghen, Rose, Dier, Alli, Eriksen, Dembele, Lamela, Kane