Tottenham vs Arsenal: Projected starting lineups, team news
The Tottenham vs Arsenal projected lineups chat is intriguing heading into one of the biggest games of the Premier League season on Thursday (watch live, 2:45pm ET on USA Network and online via NBCSports.com).
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With Arsenal in fourth place and four points above fifth-place Tottenham with three games to go, the Gunners know a win would not only secure a top four finish and UEFA Champions League qualification but also confirm they will finish above their north London rivals for the first time in five seasons.
There is so much on the line and Antonio Conte and Mikel Arteta are both relishing this battle in what has essentially become a one-off clash for a top four finish.
Below we look at the options for the Tottenham vs Arsenal lineups and give our opinion on what Conte and Arteta should do (yes, they will be reading this and tweaking their lineups accordingly, of course).
Tottenham projected lineup (3-4-3)
----- Lloris -----
--- Romero --- Dier --- Davies -----
--- Emerson --- Betancur ---- Hojbjerg ---- Sessegnon ----
---- Kulusevski ---- Kane ---- Son ----
This is a pretty straightforward team selection for Antonio Conte. With Doherty and Reguilon out injured, Emerson Royal and Ryan Sessegnon will continue in the wing-back roles. The front three picks itself and the likes of Harry Winks, Steven Bergwijn and Lucas Moura will likely jump off the bench in the second half at some point. Simple.
Arsenal projected lineup (4-2-3-1)
----- Ramsdale -----
--- Cedric --- Holding --- Gabriel --- Tomayisu ---
---- Xhaka ---- Elneny ----
--- Saka --- Odegaard --- Smith Rowe ---
----- Nketiah -----
As for Mikel Arteta, well, he has to decide who will play at full back as Tomayisu could switch over to left back again as Kieran Tierney is out for the season and Nuno Tavares has struggled defensively in recent outings. That means Cedric will likely start at right back. At center back Ben White is a huge doubt once again so we can expect Rob Holding and Gabriel to start.
In midfield the duo of Xhaka and Elneny will continue in the holding roles with Thomas Partey out injured, while the only big decision is whether or not to start Smith Rowe or Martinelli on the left. Nketiah is certain to get the nod over Lacazette in the central role due to his recent hot streak, while there is an injury concern over Saka so he may not be risked. If that is the case Emile Smith Rowe could start on the right with Gabriel Martinelli on the left.