Premier League - Paper Round: Wenger ponders drastic step

Most of Wednesday's papers focus on the build-up to England's friendly with Sweden but the Daily Mail does run a story about Arsene Wenger planning a drastic measure to halt Arsenal's poor form.

According to the paper, Wenger is ready to ditch the famous Arsenal back four that he has faithfully stuck to since arriving at Arsenal way back in 1996.

Instead, Wenger is pondering the idea of playing five at the back – with three central defenders (Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen) being flanked by wing-backs Bacary Sagna and Kieran Gibbs.

Arsenal started the season with three clean sheets and the promotion of Steve Bould to assistant manager was hailed as a revelation.

However, the club have since started leaking goals, and have conceded 12 in their last four matches across all competitions.

The Mail says that "Wenger planned on making the switch for last week’s Champions League clash against Schalke after his side’s defensive troubles during the 2-1 defeat against Manchester United.

"The Frenchman held a training-ground meeting to discuss the idea with his coaching staff.

"It was eventually decided there was not enough time to implement the system on the training field ahead of the clash in Gelsenkirchen.

"But it is understood the change of formation is still very much in the forefront of Wenger’s thoughts as his side continue to struggle defensively."

Arsenal play fierce rivals Tottenham this weekend and it will be interesting to see if the Gunners will try and change their defence for that contest – such a tactic would certainly be risky given they will only have two days to prepare for the match due to this evening's internationals.

Meanwhile, Tottenham are facing a mini injury crisis before Saturday's North London derby.

The Independent reports that Kyle Walker, Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon could all miss the match after the trio sustained hamstring injuries against Manchester City last weekend. Moussa Dembele, who has been out since early October, also remains doubtful for the fixture at the Emirates Stadium.

There are not many transfer rumours knocking around but the Daily Mail does report that AC Milan have intensified their attempts to beat Chelsea and Manchester City to make former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola their next coach.

QPR want Nicolas Anelka to fire them away from the relegation zone. Anelka, 33, has not settled at Shanghai Shenhua since leaving Chelsea last season and would prefer another tilt at the Premier League. Former club Liverpool are said to be the striker’s preferred destination. (The Sun)

Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool are considering a January move for Shakhtar Donetsk’s Brazilian striker Luiz Adriano. (Daily Mail)

Finally, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is lining up a January swoop for Derby County's 24-year-old right-back John Brayford. (Daily Mirror)