A team that has been plagued by injuries in Arsenal will face a resurging Tottenham unit who have been buoyed by their recent results. Tottenham hasn’t lost a game since the opening day of the League, Arsenal, on the other hand, were thumped in mid-week by Bayern Munich. However, as you might know from past experiences, form goes out of the window when the derby day arrives.
On such day when two fierce rivals collide, every player knows that a Legendary status is on offer provided you deliver a match winning performance. Ruling the Bayern defeat out as it was more of a bump on a road rather than a regular pattern, both Arsenal and Tottenham will be going into this fixture in the best of their form.
Here is the combined XI for the North London derby.
Goalkeeper – Petr Cech
He might have passed his best and Lloris could still play for one of the European Powerhouses. However, an in-form Petr Cech is still better than an in-form Hugo Lloris. The Czech shot-stopper has demonstrated it numerous times already this Season that Chelsea was foolish to gift him to Arsenal and could prove to be the difference between both of them at the end of May next Year.
Left back – Nacho Monreal
Though Tottenham fans could scream at this grave miscarriage of justice – as Monreal is placed ahead of Danny Rose, however, the Spaniard is well above his English counterpart on current form. While Rose didn’t face severe competition to strengthen his place in the starting XI, Monreal has to get the better of Kieran Gibbs to earn an affirmative nod from Arsene Wenger.
Center back – Jan Vertonghen
First Tottenham representative in our list and Vertonghen duly deserves his inclusion in the combined starting 11. He might have taken some years to settle at White Hart Lane, but Jan Vertonghen is better than Per Mertesacker when it comes to complete defending.
Center back – Laurent Koscielny
Even though football isn’t a game of ifs and buts as the only thing that matters is the final score-line, the presence of Koscielny on the pitch at Allianz Arena might have salvaged the reputation for the Gunners.
Right Back – Kyle Walker
Hector Bellerin would have earned this nomination, however, as the Spaniard is out of this fixture, Kyle Walker gets an affirmative nod. Comparing him to the under-fire Arsenal right back Mathieu Debuchy, Walker is clearly better in all aspects.
Defensive Midfielder – Santi Cazorla
A player who wants to play higher up on the pitch but is dragged back in the defensive midfield department due to injuries, Santi Cazorla has been brilliant once again this Season. While his goals have dried due to playing in a more laid-back role, Cazorla has offered Arsenal the versatility that they lacked in their defensive midfield department last Season.
Defensive Midfielder – Eric Dier
Placed ahead of Francis Coquelin, Dier has won numerous matches on his own for Tottenham this Season. Playing behind the fluid attacking midfield that Tottenham possesses in the form of Lamela, Eriksen, and Dembele, the English midfielder has prospered brilliantly this Season.
Left Attacking Midfielder – Alexis Sanchez
A player who will be an enormous threat to a Tottenham victory on Sunday, Sanchez has been a consistent performer for the Gunners this Season. Despite the fact that he has scored just 1 goal in the last five fixtures, his presence on the pitch can cause shudders in the opposition defense line.
Central Attacking Midfielder – Mesut Ozil
Once known as a player who became invisible in matches like these, Ozil has shunned his big game misery with a grandstand performance against Bayern Munich at the Emirates.
Attacking Midfielder – Christian Eriksen
A player who plays on the left side of the midfield but often cuts inside in the attacking midfield role, Eriksen has managed to meet the expectations of his fans this Season. With 2 goals and 3 assists to his name, the Danish midfielder has been a star performer for Mauricio Pochettino this Season.
Striker – Harry Kane
If you have asked me a few weeks ago who I would go for in the North London derby, either Theo Walcott or Olivier Giroud would have earned the nomination. However, credits to the performances of Kane in the last few weeks with 5 goals in his last 3 appearances, Harry Kane has denied Olivier Giroud for the main striker role.