Although it was a foregone conclusion, Arsenal put up a brave display against Bayern Munich in the Champions League second-leg clash in midweek and were able to exit the competition with their heads held high. Now, the Gunners will need to refocus their energy back to the domestic competitions, beginning with the Premier League this weekend.
Every match from now till the end of the season is crucial for Arsenal and it does not get any bigger for the Gunners than a trip to White Hart Lane to face fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
A clash between these two sworn enemies is never a matter of just the three points, with the London rivals battling it out for pride as well, and considering that both teams are desperate for a win, the match will surely be a thrilling encounter.
After sitting out the second leg against Bayern through suspension, Wojciech Szczesny should return between the sticks for Arsenal on Sunday. The young custodian will replace fellow Pole Lukasz Fabianski, who can count himself a bit unlucky after putting in some fine displays while deputizing for Szczesny in recent matches.
With Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal still struggling with injuries, captain Thomas Vermaelen looks set to continue at left-back. The formidable duo of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny will surely start at the heart of the defence, while Bacary Sagna will also retain his place on the right-full back position.
Young duo of Carl Jenkinson and Isaac Hayden will probably be named on the bench and the Gunners certainly cannot afford any more injuries at the back due to their lack of numbers.
Arsenal had been dealt a huge blow after it was revealed that star player Mesut Ozil will be ruled out for over a month due to a hamstring injury. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey also recently received another setback on his road to recovery from the thigh injury he suffered a few months back and will be missing as well.
The duo will join the ever-growing Arsenal casualty list, which already includes the likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Abou Diaby. On a bright note though, it has been suggested that January signing Kim Kallstrom could be in contention for the clash.
Wenger decided to go with an attacking lineup against Bayern, due to the circumstances, but will certainly be more cautious against Spurs, which means that Mathieu Flamini could be handed a start in midfield alongside Mikel Arteta.
Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were impressive against Bayern and should continue on the flanks, while Santi Cazorla will most probably fill-in as a playmaker in the absence of Ozil. The duo of Tomas Rosicky and Serge Gnabry will be pushing for a start as well.
Olivier Giroud was very quiet against Bayern in midweek, but considering that both Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner are doubts for the clash, the Frenchman looks set to be leading the line for the Gunners once again.
Szczesny; Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Sagna; Podolski, Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Giroud