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The Ox and The Beast work the middle in mixed Arsenal/Spurs XI

| 15.03.2014

After a display of central midfield ball-carrying that Paul Gascoigne would be proud of against the mighty Bayern Munich, we build our north London derby XI around Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The recent shift inside for the Ox has earned him plenty of plaudits and as Arsenal travel to White Hart Lane for this pivotal derby, it would be no surprise to see the England man deployed in central midfield again, especially in light of injuries.

In keeping with our Arsenal-centric starting line-up, the visiting Gunners are the slender 6/4 favourites to triumph come Sunday, while Spurs are 9/5-shots and the draw 23/10.


The hot-headed Wojciech Szczesny passes ownership of the gloves to courageous Frech shot-stopper Hugo Lloris.

Ahead of Lloris, the Spurs keeper will not find many allies though, with Arsenal taking up three of the four slots in defence.

Bacary Sagna is preferred to Kyle Walker, while the Gunners’ bedrock of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny keep out the likes of the unlucky Michael Dawson on the bench.

Despite his mistake at Chelsea, Jan Vertonghen gets a spot at left back due to Kieran Gibbs being sidelined through injury and Danny Rose and Kyle Naughton failing to impress.

In the engine room, Sandro anchors the midfield in tandem with the aforementioned Oxlade-Chamberlain – keeping the likes of Mousa Dembele and Mikel Arteta at bay.

Given injuries to other Arsenal stars and the intermittent form of Spurs players Paulinho and Christian Eriksen, Tomas Rosicky gets his chance as the front prong in a midfield three.

‘Little Mozart’ deserves his chance though, having excelled whenever called upon for Arsenal this season.

In turn, Lukas Podolski is rewarded for his abilities to score goals from the left of a front three and in Theo Walcott’s continued absence Aaron Lennon is given licence to roam on the right.

Up top, Olivier Giroud’s marginally better goal tally lands him the loan striker role in front of the hard-done by Emmanuel Adebayor.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.