Arsenal travel to north London rivals Tottenham this afternoon for what is undoubtedly a championship six-pointer – and manager Arsene Wenger has chosen today to name a surprise starter.
Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny has been thrown in at the deep end for his first start at the club in one of four changes Wenger has made this afternoon:
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 5, 2016
The January signing from FC Bassel comes in for Joel Campbell in a rejigged midfield that is likely to see Aaron Ramsey push further upfield.
Misfiring striker Olivier Giroud is taken out of the side in faovur of Danny Welbeck, who has scored twice since his recent return from injury.
As expected, the injured Petr Cech is replaced by David Ospina in goal, while Nacho Monreal is replaced by Kieran Gibbs at left back.
Tottenham, meanwhile, welcome Mousa Dembélé back into the team following his absence from his side’s last three matches through injury.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) March 5, 2016
The Belgian international replaces Ryan Mason at the heart of Spurs’ midfield.
Kyle Walker reclaims his place from Kieran Trippier at right back, while breakout star Dele Alli makes his return to the starting lineup following his substitute appearance in the 1-0 defeat at West Ham in midweek in place of Nacer Chadli.
A win today will send Tottenham to the top of the table for the first time (outside of the month of August) since 1964.
An Arsenal win can stop that from happening – which should be just as much of an incentive heading into what could possibly be the biggest North London derby of all time.