It has been confirmed that Cech’s wait for his 200th Premier League clean sheet will go on as he is set to miss the North London Derby against Tottenham at Wembley this Saturday.
The Arsenal shot stopper sustained a calf injury against Everton, and while he tried to stay on to meet the 200 clean sheet milestone, he conceded to his injury once Everton scored. It looks more and more likely Ospina will be coming in to replace the injured Cech and start midday on Saturday.
While Ospina has started in the League Cup and in the Europa League, the Colombian number 1 does not always inspire the greatest deal of confidence to an already fragile Arsenal defence.
With Kane reaching the 100 Premier League goal club, Tottenham will be desperate to end Arsenal’s hopes of a top 4 finish by beating them at their temporary home at Wembley.
Whilst Arsenal are on a high after their sensational first half showing against Everton, the second half demonstrated that Arsenal are very much a Formula 1 car going forward and a white van at the back. With the experienced shot stopper in Cech unavailable, to organise the defence and add his stature and presence, plus a calming impact to the defence, Tottenham will be hoping to take advantage of Arsenal’s fragile defence.
Arsenal will hope to utilise the front foot approach they took that led them to a win at the Emirates, and will hope Mustafi gives a similar performance that he did that day. If Arsenal can utilise the attacking capabilities, and the rest of the team raise their game as they have done at some points during this season, there is every chance that Arsenal can continue their purple patch of form at Wembley.
If Arsenal are to take a decisive step to rescuing this season, they will hope that the forward players ensure that there stand in goalkeeper has as little to do as possible and that it is Hugo Loris is the one who is occupied by Arsenal’s new attacking additions.
What is for sure, this is bound to be a fascinating game that will have a major say in how each team does this season and, possibly, on the future of Arsene Wenger. Another season behind their North London rivals will surely be too much for the split Arsenal fan base and it could cause for a major change in the summer.
This may well come down to whether Arsenal’s high tempo free flowing attacking play can mitigate the lapses of concentration that have been too evident at the back, and more importantly, whether Arsenal can give a ‘home’ performance at Wembley.