A setback in Aaron Ramsey’s return from injury is just the latest blow in fate’s assault on the Arsenal midfield.
The Welshman’s latest hold up means the Gunners will be shorn of three top quality central-midfielders for the north London derby, with Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil also out of action.
Luckily for Arsene Wenger there’s still enough quality in the locker to put together a tasty midfield quintet capable of justifying 7/5 favouritism in their trip to White Hart Lane.
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That they can be expected to go close is due in no small part to the fact that Mathieu Flamini and his deep-lying compadre Mikel Arteta have been spared damage ahead of the fixture.
However, the Spaniard is readily jettisoned in favour of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who experienced a coming of age in the Arsenal midfield against FC Bayern similar to that undergone by Wilshere against Barcelona back in 2011.
The Southampton product’s self-confidence and tenacity made him arguably the best outfield player at the Allianz Arena and he’ll be all the freer in his self-expression against the Lilywhites’ shape-shifting central band.
Meanwhile in front of him there remain sufficient functioning personnel to reprise two-thirds of the forward three that well and truly burst the Tim Sherwood bubble during the fervent foes’ recent FA Cup dust-up.
Only Santi Cazorla misses out, with Lukas Podolski, another who carried the fight to the European champions in midweek, selected instead.
The strong-running Poldi gets the nod to play in tandem with his fellow countryman Serge Gnabry, who savaged Tottenham in a man of the match showing in the sides’ most recent face-off.
Germany’s finest can exploit the occasional naivety of the hosts’ full-backs, with Tomas Rosicky’s guile the skeleton key in the centre of the trident.
It was the position from which the bouncing Czech bagged the second last time Arsenal met Tottenham and he’s 9/2 to repeat the trick on enemy territory.