chelsea terrace tottenham and takes a serious option on the final
© supplied by sofoot simply above Tottenham during the entire meeting, Chelsea had no trouble getting imposed in semi-finals go From League Cup this Wednesday night (2-0), and already sees the qualification for the final stretch his arms. A demonstration that could have been even stronger if the Blues had been more killer in front of the opposing goals.
Today was supposed to be the day where we had the clearest indication yet which end of the Seven Sisters Road had the best chance of hosting Champions League football again.
Sunday's game between Arsenal and Tottenham was supposed to be a top-four six-pointer, however, the decision was taken to controversially call the game off at the Gunners' request due to absences in their squad as a result of AFCON, injuries and COVID-19, despite the fact that it is understood Martin Odegaard was the only player to have recorded a suspected positive test.
This sparked predictable anger from Spurs who were keen to take on Mikel Arteta's men at a moment of weakness.
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However, it seems that when the game is replayed, we could see a very different-looking Gunners side.
It is not exactly clear when the fixture will take place at the time of writing.
Tottenham have a significant backlog of fixtures due to a COVID outbreak of their own in December, while Arsenal need to reschedule their match with Liverpool that is currently set to take place on the weekend of the Carabao Cup final, which one of the pair is guaranteed to reach.
The Gunners also need to find a new date for their match against Chelsea who will be off at the Club World Cup in Japan on the date when that fixture was originally scheduled to occur next month.
Regardless, though, it is unlikely that the North London Derby will now take place in January, with Spurs playing their rearranged game with Leicester on Wednesday before the Premier League has a winter break at the end of this month.
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Arsenal's midfield needs are well documented and a move for one of Leicester City's star men could be in the offing after Mikel Arteta's admiration for the player was confirmedForest won the match over Arsenal and looked fairly comfortable doing so despite the close scoreline. The midfield was crucially an area that was vulnerable and a big reason for the loss. Therefore, calls for the club to improve the position and add strength to the side have grown.
As a result, this means that Arsenal will most likely have Thomas Partey, Nicolas Pepe, Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back available, despite questions over the future of the latter pair.
Despite some debate over whether new transfers should be able to play in rescheduled games, the Gunners are also likely to have any signings made in the January window available for the game, meaning their starting XI at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could be vastly changed. © IAN KINGTON/AFP via Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) and Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang embrace on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
There is unlikely to be too much difference among the Gunners back line though.
Aaron Ramsdale, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White, Gabriel and Kieran Tierney have formed a solid defensive bed rock on which Arsenal's recent form has been built, and with all under the age of 25 and under long-term contract, it's likely that that will stay the same for years to come.
Tottenham: Tale puts pressure on its
executives supplied by Sports.co.uk It is waiting for reinforcements during this winter mercato. Since the arrival of Antonio tale on the bench in early November, Tottenham is better. Ungroup in 8 championship matches (3 were postponed), the SPIRs are lifted in the standings and two points of 4th, with two less matches. But the Italian technician is aware that his current workforce will have trouble competing with Manchester City, Liverpool or Chelsea in the long term .
The midfield, though, could be vastly different.
As things stood going into Sunday's originally scheduled game the only midfielders Arteta had to choose from were Charlie Patino and Albert Sambi Lokonga, with Granit Xhaka suspended, Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard both potentially unavailable and Partey and Elneny away at AFCON.
The return of Partety means that he will almost definitely be starting. The Ghanaian has generally been partnered by Xhaka, but by the time of the newly scheduled game, there could be someone else at the base of the Gunners' midfield double pivot.
The departure of Ainsley Maitland-Niles to Roma means that Arsenal have been on the lookout for a midfielder recently.
Juventus' Arthur Melo was heavily linked last week, but Edu may want to opt for a longer-term option more in keeping with the transfer policy he pursued in the summer.
As a result, the Brazilian may look to move for Youri Tielemans of Leicester in January. The Belgian has just 18 months left on his deal and will therefore have plenty of suitors in the summer, but Arsenal can secure his signature this month then he'd be available to start against Spurs.
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In front of the midfield two, it's likely that we'd see the same trio of Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli who were so essential to the Gunners' free-scoring form in December.
It would still be just as harsh on Emile Smith Rowe as it was back then, but the England international's record off the bench means that he could be crucial to winning what would undoubtedly be a tight game against Antonio Conte's side.
Up front though is where we'd see the biggest difference between this Arsenal side and the one that was available on January 16th.
Folarin Balogun has gone out on loan while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah's contracts are set to expire come the summer, meaning that there is plenty of uncertainty over the future of the centre forward position at the Emirates Stadium.
That is only added to by the fact that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has not played since being stripped of the club captaincy last month, and Martinelli has looked far better on the wings in recent matches.
As a result, the Gunners have been linked heavily with the signing of Dusan Vlahovic this month. The Fiorentina man is another with just 18 months left on his deal, and as a result, Arteta is keen to bring in the man who he views as the long-term solution for the number nine shirt at the Emirates Stadium.
Bringing him in would give Arsenal a huge edge in the race for the North London Derby, the top-four chase, and who knows what beyond!
Arsenal potential line up for rearranged fixture with Tottenham - Ramsdale; Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Tielemans; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Vlahovic.
Mercato: The price of Vlahovic is known .
© provided by Sports.co.uk The attacker of Fiorentina should remain this winter. After recalking Arsenal and asked to leave at the Juventus (where it will receive 7 million euros net per year), Dusan Vlahovic (21 years old) will be officially recruited by the old lady. According to the Gazzetta Dello Sport, the deal with the Fiorentina has been finalized and the player will soon spend his medical visit before signing a 4-year-old contract.