Three key tactical points for Arsenal to focus on against Spurs
Arsenal are firm favourites to end Tottenham’s unbeaten league start in the season’s first north London derby on Sunday. Arsene Wenger’s side are in better form than their neighbours, with seven wins and two draws in the Premier League since their opening weekend defeat to Liverpool. Much has been made of the Gunners’ historic struggles in November; indeed, it is the month in which Wenger has his lowest points per game ratio, just 1.59. However, this period is usually marked by the onset of an injury crisis. This term, Arsenal have bodies returning to the fold rather than departing with Granit Xhaka, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud back. Wenger has fresh legs to attack a difficult run of fixtures, and whatever team he selects Arsenal will have a strong substitute’s bench which makes a huge difference. We suggested three key tactical points to help them get one over on their fierce rivals.
Press Spurs And Give Them A Taste Of Their Own Medicine
Pochettino’s Spurs side are an athletic and well organised outfit, who love nothing more than to play on the front foot. Tottenham do lack a little creativity and guile, so many believe the best policy against them is to sit off and let them have the ball. However, this has not been Arsenal’s natural tendency this season and Bayer Leverkusen showed it is possible to go a different way. Toby Alderweireld and Moussa Dembele are out through injury, and are arguably Tottenham’s best two distributors of the ball. Alderweireld in particular, provides them with a get-out-of-jail card with his raking diagonal passes. Without those two, Spurs have a collection of players in the back half of their team who are quite average technically.
The likes of Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama will not want to receive the ball deep in their own half with their back to play or on the half turn. Arsenal have morphed into a good pressing team this year, triggered by Alexis Sanchez’s deployment as a centre forward. The likes of Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott back him up, and with Aaron Ramsey possibly in contention to start, Arsenal have another high energy player to choose from. Spurs haven’t got a great deal of pace in their side, so Arsenal’s back four can adopt a very aggressive starting position.