Arsenal vs Spurs Preview: Road to the FA Cup Final
It has only been a few days since our breathtaking last minute surge against Cardiff. Now we face a big test: a North London Derby. In a cup no less! A loss here is far worse than any normal loss in a NLD, as it means elimination from a cup that we really have a shot to win this season. We need to win here. We just need to put up a strong fight and play without fear. We are the better side and deserve to win. This game is for bragging rights and progression in a cup that we want to win.
This fixture last time:
The last time this fixture occurred was earlier this season. It was a massive turn around after a terrible loss to Aston Villa. It was a simple 1-nil to the Arsenal. Giroud scored a cheeky outside of the foot, near post shot against Lloris. Walcott swung in a great cross for him and Giroud took his chance well, on the one touch finish. Sadly we are missing Giroud this time, but we do have Theo and a strong squad.
Here is my expected line up for tomorrow:
I think Gnabry and Zelalem will be making a huge start. Theo will fill in at striker, seeing as Podolski wasn’t great there against Cardiff. Podolski will then slide back on to the wing and Santi will take up his best position in the center. Monreal will fill in for the injured Gibbs at left back.
Sagna vs Eriksen:
Eriksen is an incredibly creative player (a player I wish we’d bought), but due to Spurs new two- striker system, they don’t have room for a true CAM. Therefore Eriksen is being played in more of a Santi role, as a CAM playing LW. He could punish us, as he did Manchester United, if we’re not careful. However, I have faith Mr. Reliable will shut him down.
Podolski vs Walker:
Walker is a class right back who will do everything in his power to shut down our service from the wing. Podolski will have to be 100% and ready to run his socks off to beat Walker’s work rate. He will have to be prepared to dribble around Walker and swing in quick crosses to avoid being shut down. I think Podolski will struggle with this for a while, but if Santi begins to drift to the left more, he will have the support to break him down.
Zelalem vs Expectations:
I don’t know about everyone else, but I have huge hopes for Zelalem in the future. He just has to make sure that he doesn’t screw up and become a scapegoat on his debut. Debuting against Spurs could put him in the history books. If he just focuses on not losing the ball and taking the opportunity to try the occasional tricky ball, he might just get an assist and put his name in our history books.
Casualties of War:
Bendtner, Gibbs, Ramsey, Diaby, and Ox are all definitely out. Ozil and Giroud both face late fitness tests, and Wenger says it is likely both will be out. It’s unfortunate that we will be without our two out and out strikers, who are both in great goal scoring form, but we do have Theo, Poldi, and Gnabry who can all play striker. I’ve wanted to watch Gnabry play there, but it’s unlikely as Theo is in incredible goal scoring form. If Ozil was fit, I’d actually be tempted to try him there and see if he could really be like Bergkamp, but that’s unlikely.
Vertonghen, Paulinho, Kaboul, and Sigurdsson will all be out. Holtby, Defoe, and Townsend are all just returning from injury and are unlikely to play. Adebayor also faces a late test, but claims he is fit to face us. Let’s all secretly hope he’s not fit so he can’t score against us.
I predict a shock 3-0 to Arsenal. We will come out firing on all cylinders and Spurs will be cocky after their away victory over Manchester United. I think Walcott will score a great goal, as he has been in fine finishing form. This goal will likely be assisted from Lulu on the left. Next, I think Gnabry will score a simple tap in from a one on one, assisted by Zelalem. Finally, in the dying minutes Zelalem will score a self-assisted screamer, and put his name in the hearts and memories of Gooners everywhere.
1. What are your predictions for the game?
2. What is your preferred line up?
3. What do we do about our striker situation?
COYG! Let’s win another NLD!
Thanks for reading! 😀
Written by: Dylan.