Arsenal XI vs Tottenham: Starting lineup, confirmed team news, injury latest - Xhaka returns

·1 min read
Arsenal XI vs Tottenham: Starting lineup, confirmed team news, injury latest - Xhaka returns

Granit Xhaka returns to Arsenal’s starting XI for today’s north London derby clash with Tottenham.

The experienced Swiss midfielder replaces Nicolas Pepe in Mikel Arteta’s only change from the 1-0 win over Burnley last weekend, having served a three-match suspension following his red card in the drubbing by Manchester City.

After a disastrous start to the season which saw the Gunners lose their first three Premier League matches, Arteta’s men have steadied the ship with three wins on the bounce, against Norwich, Burnley and AFC Wimbledon, the latter in midweek in the Carabao Cup.

Midfielder Thomas Partey started that game and played for an hour as he looks to build sharpness ahead of the Spurs clash, but Arteta made ten changes beyond the Ghanaian, meaning he has a a well-rested side to put out this afternoon.

“He hasn’t played a lot of minutes since he’s been injured and the rhythm of matches is not like any training session,” Arteta said. “We need him to play so it was beneficial. “We didn’t think [there was any risk] but there’s always a risk when you play a match or a training session at the intensity we train at. We believed it was the right thing to do and he was really pushing for it.”

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Arteta’s main decision for Spurs appeared to be over whether to continue with the attacking system he employed at Burnley, with Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard either side of Partey, or to bring in a more conservative midfielder such as Albert Sambi Lokonga.

He elects for the former, with Smith Rowe and Odegaard both starting once more today.

Arsenal starting XI: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Smith Rowe, Odegaard, Xhaka, Saka, Aubameyang

Subs: Leno, Lacazette, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Cedric, Pepe, Tavares, Sambi Lokonga, Martinelli

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