Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gave his press conference this morning ahead of Thursday’s pivotal North London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur, and if you’re a Spurs fan there’s potentially good news on the injury front. Arteta said that CB Ben White and striker Bukayo Saka are both potential doubts for the derby and will be late fitness tests.
White missed Arsenal’s last two matches with a thigh injury, while Saka picked up a knock in the match against Leeds and was subbed off midway through the second half. The Gunners are also without Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney, who are both out for the season.
“Thomas [Partey] is still out, Kieran [Tierney] is still out and with Ben [White] he is still a doubt, we have to assess him and see how he is feeling, which is much better. With Bukayo [Saka] it’s the same.
“It’s very difficult to rate with injuries, it’s just how they feel today, that’s the last day that we can assess them and try to get the feeling, basically.”
“Late fitness tests” are unfortunately vague and often aren’t particularly indicative of who we are likely to see in Arsenal’s starting XI. White is arguably Arsenal’s best defender, and without him we’re likely to see Rob Holding again in the back line. Of the two, Saka’s injury appears to be the less serious, though obviously we do not know. Clearly having one or both of them unavailable would be a boost to Tottenham’s chances in the NLD, but it does seem possible that both will return.
Thankfully, even if both of them are out, it’s looking extremely unlikely that this time Arsenal will be able to have the match postponed.
Tottenham, by contrast, are unchanged from the past couple of matches. Most notably, it now appears that Sergio Reguilon is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a hip injury, meaning Ryan Sessegnon will again start at LWB. Elsewhere, Matt Doherty, Oliver Skipp, and Japhet Tanganga are also out with season-ending injuries.