Have you heard the one about the Arsenal team to face Tottenham?

By Bulldog Drummond

Apparently we have an injury crisis – in defence.  Which seems to be the story we were running before the Southampton match – and wouldn’t you know, it is still with us.

No one is out of action because of too many yellow cards but we are told that  Shkodran Mustafi has a hamstring problem,  Laurent Koscielny is not fit enough to play yet again, Konstantinos Mavropanos hasn’t played at all and isn’t fit yet,  and Rob Holding is out for the season.

Worse both Sead Kolasinac and Nacho Monreal are injured as well and the BBC says that Bellerin will be out for some weeks – although the manager has said Kolasinac is going to be assessed and has suggested he should be fine.  So should Lichsteiner.

Which leaves us the chance of playing Julio Pleguezuelo who is likely to play alongside Sokratis.  If we then play a back four then Ainsley Maitland-Niles could play as a full back which then leaves us just one full back short if Nacho and Kolasinac are really injured, but I doubt that quite a lot.

As ever we have Elneny as a stand in centre back, and Jenkinson is avaialble so all in all we should just about be able to put a team out.

As for Tottenham, here are their injuries – and here’s an extraordinary thing – they seem to have lots too.  Maybe we were right and it isn’t just an Arsenal injury crisis.

PLAYER What’s up When back News Available?
E Dier Appendicitis Jan 13 Return in January No
J Vertonghen Thigh Strain No Date No
S Aurier Groin Strain Dec 19 “Commenced on-field rehabilitation.” Slight Doubt
J Foyth Hamstring Dec 19 “Entered late stages of conditioning work.” Slight Doubt
V Wanyama Knee Injury No Return Date “Continues his rehabilitation.” No
D Sanchez Hamstring Dec 19 “Entered late stages of conditioning work.” Slight Doubt
M Dembele Ankle Injury Dec 29 “Commenced on-field rehabilitation.” No
V Janssen Foot No Date No

Tottenham are of course on a very good run of form away from home (where ever that might be) and the only game they have lost in the last 11 is against Arsenal.

So far in the league cup Tottenham’s games have been

Date Match Res Score
26 Sep 2018 Tottenham H v Watford W 2-2 (4-2)
31 Oct 2018 West Ham United v Tottenham H W 1-3

The Watford game was played at Milton Keynes for various technical reasons concerning the state of their own ground.

Quite what sort of team Tottenham will put out is hard to guess.  They have had much tougher European games than Arsenal of course and so have not had the chance to rest players – and they might well give a chance to one or two back up players in this match.

On the other hand a chance to beat Arsenal in revenge for the 4-2 hammering is something they would not want to give up easily.  But they have a game against Everton next Sunday, and they know they can’t really focus on all four competitions.

Tottenham have on the other hand won the league cup in 1998 and 2008, and thus expected to win it last season, as that ended with an eight, but it didn’t happen.  Those two league cup wins made it two trophie in 27 years, so for them the competition is not to be dismissed lightly.  Two in 27 years is better than Arsenal in this competition remember, although is we were to broaden the analysis to include some other competitions in the last 27 years, we might find things are seen in a different perspective.

Here’s the full draw for the quarter finals…

  • Arsenal v Tottenham
  • Leicester/Southampton v Manchester City
  • Middlesbrough v Burton
  • Chelsea v Bournemouth

There is also some bad news for the bloggettas and papers that run their football sections on wild rumours, the source of which can never be found.   At least if the Independent is to be believed for they are running the headline:

Arsenal unlikely to make January signings, admits Emery

But I am sure the rest of the media will take no notice.

2 Replies to “Have you heard the one about the Arsenal team to face Tottenham?”

  1. I think the likely 7 hail and hearty specialist seniors team and U23 team Arsenal defenders that could be available for selection for the Spurs match on Wednesday night in the Carabao Cup at the Ems are: Lichtsteiner, Sokratis, Jenkinson, Pleguezuelo, Kolasinac, AMN and Medley for either a back three or a back four back-line formation defense-line for the match. And out of these 7 defenders, I think I’ll opt in for a back four Arsenal starting XI to start the match in the following order.
    Lichtsteiner Jenkinson Sokratis Kolasinac;
    Torreira Xhaka;
    Ramsey Ozil Iwobi;
    Cech AMN Pleguezuelo Medley Guendouzi Mkhi’ Lacazette.

    Ramsey, Ozil and Iwobi should all be tracking back efficiently to provide covering for both the 2 DMs and the back four whenever it has become necessary for them to do so during the entire 90 minutes + of the match. The match is expected to be tough. But Arsenal should play the match efficiently in all the aspects of playing it and make the game tougher for Spurs to cope with it. On no account should the Gunners over jubilate when they have scored to be in the ascendancy in the match but they should not forget to hold their lines tightly to not consequently concede a goal or goals to Spurs again during the match.

    Arsenal should play passionately by concentrating totally on the match for 90 minutes + of the match without any kind of momentary loss of concentration in the game. But play with great cohesion and utral discipline in the match for the 90 minutes + in the match.

  2. Please, it should be hale and hearty 7………… But not hail and hearty.

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