Thomas Partey, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Kieran Tierney are set to be passed fit for the North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham.
There were plenty of concerns over Arsenal’s team composition ahead of a crucial North London Derby, but Mikel Arteta has allayed fears of multiple absentees by hinting at a strong squad heading into the game against Tottenham on Saturday. The major concerns surrounded the fitness of Thomas Partey, Kieran Tierney and Oleksandr Zinchenko.
In his pre-match press conference, Arteta insisted that Partey, Tierney and Zinchenko are all part of the Arsenal squad, which could be taken as a hint over their involvement against Tottenham this weekend.
The Arsenal boss commented on the overall state of the squad, saying the players were in good shape. He said, “We’ve just finished the last training session. Obviously, we had many players arriving yesterday, so we had a short period to prepare for the match, but the boys are looking in good condition.”
Emile Smith Rowe underwent surgery to correct a groin issue, keeping him out for at least two months. Meanwhile, Reiss Nelson was spotted in training pictures, although the North London Derby might have come too soon for the winger. Nelson and Smith Rowe never in contention in the first place, meaning Arteta’s plans were not disrupted by their absence.
Takehiro Tomiyasu’s international commitments were also cut short, as Arsenal took a firm stance with some of their players during this break. Partey’s potential absence was a major concern, but the Ghanaian midfielder is expected to start against Tottenham if fully fit.
Choosing the preferred left-back will be tricky for Arteta after Tierney’s impressive performance against Brentford. However, the feeling is that if Zinchenko is fit, he might come into the side ahead of the Scotsman. The other members of the backline will remain the same with Ben White, William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes retaining their spots.
Partey will partner with Granit Xhaka in the midfield double pivot, with Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard playing an advanced role ahead of the duo. Bukayo Saka will start on the right-wing, with Gabriel Martinelli on the left flank. Gabriel Jesus will lead the line for Arsenal against Tottenham, with Eddie Nketiah being his deputy from the bench.
Predicted Arsenal XI: Ramsdale; Ben White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli; Jesus