Arsenal will take on bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday in the first north London derby of the new Premier League campaign. Both sides will be desperate to bounce back from disappointing results last time out.
The Gunners were well beaten by Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool side at Anfield, whilst Spurs slumped to a shock defeat against Steve Bruce’s Newcastle side.
However, to lean on a cliche, when it comes to derby day form goes out of the window. With local bragging rights on the line, both teams will seek to attack and go all out for victory. However, given that Arsenal have the home advantage, the expectation will be on them to play aggressively from the start.
Unai Emery must take this chance to play on the front foot against Spurs. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have looked uncharacteristically shaky at the back in recent weeks. The best way for the Gunners to exploit this would be to include Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and £72 million summer signing Nicolas Pepe all in the starting XI.
This exciting trio of attackers are yet to all start together. However, Emery has hinted that that could change on Sunday. As quoted by the official Arsenal website, the Spanish coach said, “I think they can start together and they can play also during the match as all three, it depends how we decide our gameplan. But I am very optimistic for that situation”.
Emery should not miss this chance to field his potent front three all together. It’s certainly what the Emirates Stadium faithful want to see. On paper, Aubameyang, Lacazette and Pepe have the capacity to wreak havoc together. As a unit they boast so many collective attributes, including blistering pace and wonderful finishing ability.
Last season, Aubameyang and Lacazette bagged 50 goals for Arsenal between them, whilst Pepe racked up 23 for Ligue 1 club Lille. The time has now come to deploy the trio as a single unit from the start of a game and put their potential into practice.
As far as Arsenal will be concerned, there could be no better first opponent for this trio’s first start together than Spurs.