Arsenal face Tottenham this weekend in their fourth game of the season, and it is a fixture that could potentially have huge implications on the race for the top four. To give them the best chance of taking all three points, the Gunners should make one change in particular to the backline.
Whilst his defensive performance left a lot to be desired – 0 tackles against the likes of Mohamed Salah is unlikely to be of aid to your team – he was particularly disappointing going forward. No dribbles, no key passes and just one attempted cross is ineffectual to say the least.
Spurs will be an entirely different proposition. And, whilst they are still a top side – they made it to the Champions League final last term, after all – they will likely be short on confidence after a poor 1-0 loss to Newcastle. As such, Unai Emery and co should be targeting one area of the pitch in particular, and one change can help them to do just that.
Check out fan reaction to Liverpool 3-1 Arsenal in the video below…
Against the Toon, Mauricio Pochettino set up his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Heung-Min Son, Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura in an attacking midfield three behind striker Harry Kane. Son impressed with a 7.07 rating on the left and deserved more for his efforts, but there were issues surrounding the other two of the triumvirate.
Both of their heatmaps indicate that they spent most of their time in the middle of park, leaving the right open far too often. Joelinton’s goal showed that. Newcastle were allowed to progress on the left-flank of the pitch far too easily, and Christian Atsu was able to pick out the former Hoffenheim forward with a simple chipped pass. It is also clear that, on the few occasions Steve Bruce’s team did attack, they attempted to play down the left rather than the other side.
Kyle Walker-Peters is inexperienced and did not look good with a WhoScored rating of 6.39 in the last match. He may be unable to play due to injury, which would leave Serge Aurier, who has been linked with a move away from north London, as the only other option.
It is therefore clear that the right-side of Spurs’ defence is weaker, and the best way to target that is with the inclusion of Sead Kolasinac. The Bosnia international is clearly a better attacking option than Monreal. Last season, he racked up five assists, and was better in every single offensive department – 0.4 shots per game to 0.3, 1.3 key passes per game to 0.5 and 0.5 dribbles per game to 0.3.
As such, the former Schalke man is the better choice to target Spurs’ Achilles heel, and he can help the Gunners get back on track after last weekend’s setback.