In-form Eddie Nketiah has to lead Arsenal’s line but will both Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe start? Can Kane, Son and Kulusevski be stopped? How Spurs and Arsenal could line-up for massive north London derby
- Arsenal travel to Spurs knowing win will secure Champions League football
- Spurs missing the likes of Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty for remainder of the campaign
- Bukayo Saka and Ben White remain doubts for Mikel Arteta’s side
- Antonio Conte’s side should remain unchanged from their draw at Anfield
Having last qualified for the Champions League in 2016, Arsenal travel to Spurs knowing a win will secure their return to the competition after a six-year absence.
Both sides head into the final two weeks of the season with key absentees, including the known injuries at Spurs to Sergio Reguilon, Matt Doherty, Japhet Tanganga and Oliver Skipp who will all miss the remainder of the campaign.
Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney remain injured for the Gunners, with neither appearing likely to appear again between now and the end of the campaign.
Mikel Arteta knows if his side claim three points away at Spurs they will return to Europe’s elite
Meanwhile, Arsenal head up the Seven Sisters road with injury doubts to key players Ben White and Bukayo Saka, both of whom Arteta remained touch and go about their availability.
Spurs head into the derby knowing only a win will really do in keeping their top-four aspirations alive after a series of results that has seen Arsenal pull away.
Encouragement will come for Antonio Conte after his side’s impressive showing away at Anfield last Saturday in which his front three in particular caused the quadruple chasing Liverpool all sorts of problems on the break.
Antonio Conte will be hoping his blistering front three can pose Arsenal problems on the break
The Italian will be encouraged by his side’s strong showing away at Liverpool on the weekend
Sergio Reguilon (right) is likely to miss the rest of the campaign through injury in a big blow to Antonio Conte’s side
Despite four consecutive wins, Arteta will be wary of the threat Tottenham’s blistering front three of Dejan Kulusevski, Heung-min Son and Harry Kane can pose to his backline.
The absences of Doherty and Reguilon, both impressive since Conte’s arrival at the club last year, however, will surely settle Arsenal nerves.
Spurs should remain unchanged from their impressive draw at Liverpool, with Conte appearing to have settled on an XI that he somewhat trusts.
Mikel Arteta could recall Emile Smith Rowe and Nuno Tavares on the left flank to combat Spurs
Bukayo Saka remains a doubt for Arsenal having sustained a knock in recent weeks
Arsenal will be hoping Ben White (right) can return to bolster their hopes of stopping Spurs
Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney (left and right) likely remain out for the rest of the campaign
Arteta’s starting line up at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday evening is a little less certain than his Tottenham counterpart’s.
Saka, so crucial to Arsenal’s resurgence this season, is doubtful having picked up a knock against Leeds.
White, another player who has impressed for Arsenal this season, has missed their last two games with a thigh injury and Arteta remained coy on whether or not the England international will feature against Spurs.
Injuries aside, Arsenal’s front line has a little more flexibility to it than Spurs’. Gabriel Martinelli, who started ahead of Emile Smith Rowe in Sunday’s win over Leeds United, could drop out in place of the England youngster.
Eddie Nketiah’s goals in recent weeks have been crucial in steering Arsenal towards the Champions League and it would be a shock were he to be dropped in place of club captain Alexandre Lacazette.
Meanwhile, with Tierney absent Arteta has played around will his fullbacks in recent weeks. After struggling on the weekend at left-back, Thursday’s trip to Spurs could see Takehiro Tomiyasu return to his usual right-back spot and Nuno Tavares recalled on the left.
Emile Smith Rowe could come in in place of the Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli
Predicted line ups:
Spurs 3-4-3: Lloris; Romero, Dier, Davies; Emerson, Bentancur, Hojbjerg, Sessegnon; Kulusevski, Kane, Son
Arsenal 4-2-3-1: Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, Holding, Gabriel, Tavares; Xhaka, Elneny; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Nketiah
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