Laurent Koscielny and Kieran Gibbs both face late fitness tests ahead of Sunday’s game against Sp*rs, but Arsenal are hopeful both will be involved this most crucial of derbies.
Speaking at his pre-game press conference, Arsene Wenger said, “Koscielny may be back, and Gibbs. We make a decision about them tomorrow.”
However, Aaron Ramsey and Francis Coquelin both miss out with ankle and hamstring injuries respectively. It would suggest that Tomas Rosicky will continue in the more forward role in the midfield trio, while the whisper is that Theo Walcott is set to return to the starting line-up at the expense of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
As well as the importance of the derby itself, coming as it does after two successive defeats, Wenger is focusing on the race for a top four place.
“It is an important game because we have an opportunity to strengthen our position in fourth place. Tottenham are doing well, so it will be an interesting game. Every game is massive now.”
The manager also ruled out any loan move by Zenit St Petersburg for Andrei Arshavin.