Martin Keown has urged Unai Emery to ‘go in for the kill’ and start Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in the north London derby against Tottenham. The Gunners travel to Wembley on Saturday knowing a victory will see them move to within one point of Spurs in the Premier League table.
Arsenal have won three matches on the bounce and smashed Bournemouth 5-1 at the Emirates on Wednesday evening. Tottenham, meanwhile, have seen their slim Premier League title chances evaporate after losing successive games to Burnley and Chelsea.
Arsenal hero Keown says Spurs are ‘wounded’ and believes Emery should unleash Ozil and Mkhitaryan on Mauricio Pochettino’s side. He told the Daily Mail: ‘Arsenal this season are like watching two teams: one that is dominant at home and another that cannot seem to perform on the road.
‘If they are going to do the double over their north London rivals tomorrow, they need to pretend that Wembley is the Emirates. ‘The return of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has restored some much-needed creativity. Rather than tinker with his tactics, Emery should field both against Tottenham.’
Asked how important Ozil is to the Gunners, Keown added: ‘So important. ‘Ozil has started just three away league games since the end of September but Arsenal’s results have not improved in his absence.
‘Since his last start – the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day – Arsenal have lost three of their four away games. ‘Arsenal’s top-four hopes hinge on their next two matches against Spurs and Manchester United.
‘Tottenham are wounded after losing twice in five days. Emery needs to pick Ozil, pick Mkhitaryan and go in for the kill.’ Emery, meanwhile, wants his Arsenal team to take the ‘opportunity’ to put pressure on north London rivals Tottenham.
He said at his pre-match press conference: ‘There were 10 points difference between us and Spurs two weeks ago. Now it’s four points. It is a big motivation. ‘This is a big opportunity for us to play with confidence in our moment, respecting them because they lost two matches but they are still having a very good season.’