Soccer

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta given headache by three players for derby clash vs Tottenham

Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: Mikel Arteta post match

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Two of the Premier League’s most goal-shy teams go head-to-head on Sunday when Arsenal host Tottenham. The north London rivals have only found the back of the net a combined total of five times in 10 games this season.

Mikel Arteta saw his side put in a decent performance this week as the Gunners saw off AFC Wimbledon 3-0 in the Carabao Cup.

Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring in the game, courtesy of an 11th-minute penalty, as Arsenal looked like they would race to a straightforward victory.

But Wimbledon refused to roll over and kept the Emirates side at bay as they chased an unlikely equaliser.

Arteta was forced to bring on his big-hitters in the latter stages of the match and Arsenal eventually wrapped up the victory as Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah added late strikes.

The win will boost the Gunners’ confidence and Express Sport takes a look at three players who will be giving Arteta a selection headache ahead of Sunday’s clash with Spurs.

Gabriel Martinelli

Gabriel Martinelli was arguably Arsenal’s standout player against Wimbledon and was constantly trying to make things happen.

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He won the early penalty and proved a menace throughout as he tried to penetrate the visitors’ backline and put crosses into the box.

Martinelli received rapturous applause from the home crowd when he was brought off with just over 15 minutes remaining in recognition of his fine performance.

Arsenal have clearly lacked creativity this season and the 20-year-old could provide the spark Arteta needs for his side’s return to Premier League action.

Alexandre Lacazette

Alexandre Lacazette proved calm under pressure once again as he tucked away Arsenal’s early penalty against Wimbledon.

The France international looked poised throughout and the Wimbledon defence struggled to deal with his movement.

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Lacazette was Arsenal’s top Premier League goalscorer last term as he struck 13 times, despite being in and out of the team.

The 30-year-old is out of contract next summer and apparently has no intention of signing a new deal at the Emirates Stadium.

But with Arteta’s team looking lacklustre in front of goal, it could be time to give the forward the opportunity to come up with the goods.

Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey has had his fair share of injury problems since arriving in north London last year.

He missed the opening three games of this season but returned for Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Norwich City earlier this month.

Partey looked a cut above against Wimbledon on Wednesday night as he displayed his physical strength and passing range.

And if Arsenal are to have a successful season, the 28-year-old will surely have a key role to play.

Arteta is likely to now hand the midfielder his second league start of the campaign when Tottenham make the short trip across town for the first north London derby of the season.

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