After an immense turnaround Arsenal have got themselves to a point in time where they can qualify for the Champions League with two games to spare.
They also don’t necessarily need to win the game against local rivals Tottenham in order to claim a top-four spot, having reached a stage where they are four points clear of Antonio Conte’s side going into Thursday’s highly-anticipated North London Derby.
So how exactly does Mikel Arteta approach this one? Speaking in his pre-match press conference the Spanaird revealed that there is only one game plan that has crossed his mind.
“For me it’s more about the excitement and the opportunity,” the Spaniard said.
“When you have that in football you have to go and deliver and do it. That’s the mindset that we all have tomorrow.”
With this in mind it seems apparent that Arsenal are going to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday to get the job done.
If Arteta is going to do that, then it’s vital that he gets his team selection right.
He’ll be hoping that Aaron Ramsdale is still sharp despite barely having a save to make in the victory over Leeds.
The England ‘keeper has admitted he’s nervous in the build-up, but he has generally delivered when under pressure this season.
In front of him will be the most interesting selection that Arteta makes.
Does the Spaniard stick to the back four that has served him well in the last three victories, or does he look to match up the back three played by Antonio Conte as he did so successfully against Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea?
While he may be looking to claim the victory, the importance of keeping the back door locked against Spurs‘ counter-attacking threat means that he will likely be looking to opt for the latter approach.
This means that Rob Holding and Gabriel will both maintain their starting places, but that Ben White will come in alongside them.
The England international played a hybrid centre back/full back role at Stamford Bridge last month and you get the feeling that he may look to reprise that this time around, even if Arteta was coy on his fitness.
That means that Arsenal will need two wing backs and in a game where so much is at stake, Arteta is unlikely to want to pick a player in Nuno Tavares who he fears he can’t trust.
Takehiro Tomiyasu showed he’s just as capable of contributing to the attack on the left side as he is on the right, and with the Japan international’s defensive solidity he feels a must-pick at left wing-back in this game.
With that in mind, over on the right Bukayo Saka may well reprise the hybrid right wingback/right forward role that he played against Chelsea too.
The England international is a doubt, but he is a must pick for such an important game.
Inside of him the trustworthy pair of Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny will be easy choices as well.
Martin Odegaard has spoken about how excited he is to lead Arsenal out in this upcoming North London Derby and he will need to be at his very best in possession to ensure that the Gunners can take advantage of the occasional weaknesses that there are in this Spurs backline.
Following the Chelsea replica logic then, means that Emile Smith Rowe will come in over on the inside left role.
It’s desperately harsh on Gabriel Martinelli, but the Brazilian remains a useful option off the bench if a change is needed.
Up front Eddie Nketiah will be starting what is probably the biggest game of his career.
The 22-year-old will be hopeful of achieving every Hale Ender’s dream of scoring a crucial goal in the North London Derby in what is arguably the most important in modern history.