Arsenal have slowly been building a beautiful project over the past few years.
Tottenham’s demise, along with Arsenal’s rise, led to a dominant double over Spurs last season. Their meetings this campaign may prove to be more contentious. Mikel Arteta and his players will have to be on their game against a resurgent Spurs side.
3 players crucial to North London Derby win
Important matchups will take place all over the pitch. Yet three players in particular will be crucial to securing a win at the Emirates.
1. William Saliba
While Saliba’s success, or even his presence, was certainly not a guarantee at the beginning of his time at the club, he has since grown to become an indispensable part of Arteta’s Arsenal. Against Tottenham, he will need to continue his good form.
The threat Spurs pose has become more nuanced. Compared to the workman-like midfield of previous years, they have more quality behind their forward line. James Maddison, in particular, will be looking not just to play balls through to Son but to fire from range. Saliba will have to be aware of the intelligence of Son and his off-ball runs along with Maddison’s threat on the ball.
The Frenchman’s quality on the ball will be needed as well. Especially at home, Arsenal will look to dominate possession. Waves upon waves of attacks will be mounted. Saliba will be crucial to the control Arteta wants his players to assert. His composure on the ball and his defensive awareness off it will both be needed.
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