Blog by: Shayne
This week, Arsenal take on Spurs at the Emirates in what is sure to be an exciting match. Let’s take a look how both clubs will line up and a quick look at their tactics.
The 35-year old Portugese manager had a bad time at Chelsea, but his first season at Spurs was a decent one despite the fact that he couldn’t secure Champions League football for the north London club. However, he has signed a number of quality players this season and one can expect them to make top 4 quite comfortably this season.
Villas-Boas prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation and this is my predicted line-up for the match against Arsenal.
Spurs usually play football with an emphasis on moving the ball around, although their system is far from perfect at present. Their right side is the source of most of their direct attacks given the presence of Kyle Walker and Aaron Lennon, both who like to exploit the space available out wide and get into crossing positions as much as possible. The line in front of Lennon (in pic) shows his preferred attacking movement i.e. out wide.
The same can’t be said about Nacer Chadli, who prefers getting the ball onto his left foot and driving inwards so as to get into a more central area, sometimes taking on the shot if the opportunity presents itself. Soldado, operating as the lone striker, will no doubt stay in and around the penalty area like he usually does, waiting to pounce whenever the opportunity presents itself.
The Frenchman has been at the club since 1996 and during his time has transformed Arsenal. However, the pressure of not winning a trophy over the past 8 seasons means that Wenger was under pressure to spend big this season, but he failed to do so. Nevertheless, he has a few quality players at his disposal and he will no doubt be relying on his players to get the job done against Tottenham. This is how I expect Arsenal to line up on Sunday.
Under Wenger, Arsenal have adopted a pass-and-move style of play with the focus being creating as many chances as possible while also retaining possession. Many have compared it to the tiki-taka style of play that Barcelona are known to use, although it is by no means an exact imitation. The weak point of that starting XI will be the midfield; while both Wilshere and Ramsey are good players, neither are defensive-minded and will always look to move forward, as suggested in the picture.
The front three pose unique attacking threats of their own. Walcott, with his blistering pace can look to get to the byline to deliver crosses or even get more inside and into more goal-scoring positions. Podolski will usually look to get onto his left foot and fire in a few powerful shots. Cazorla is given the freedom to roam in order to influence the game and also likes shooting from distance. The fact that he can use both feet is a massive bonus for him.
Premier League matches are often as tactical as they are exciting. The North London derby promises to be an exciting match, but the game will be won by the manager who gets his tactics right on the day.