Arsenal will assess Ben White and Bukayo Saka this afternoon before making a final decision on their participation in tomorrow’s huge North London derby.
White has missed the last two games with a hamstring problem and there are concerns the issue may be more serious than Mikel Arteta is letting on. The Spaniard was optimistic about the defender’s recovery before and after the win against Leeds United but was a little more guarded today.
Arteta asserted that Saka was ‘fine’ on Sunday and it’s expected he will make the trip up the Seven Sisters Road.
Asked for a squad update when he faced the press on Wednesday, the manager said:
“With Thomas [Partey], he’s of course still out, Kieran [Tierney] is still out and with Ben, it’s still a doubt.
“We have to assess him and see how he’s feeling which is much better and Bukayo, the same.”
Pressed for further details on the chances of White and Saka playing on Thursday, he continued:
“It’s very difficult to rate with injuries, it’s just how they feel today and that’s the last day we can assess them and try to get their feeling, basically.”
Arsenal know that a win against Sp*rs will secure at least fourth spot in the Premier League standings and with it the prize of Champions League qualification.
Arteta made no bones about how much he’s looking forward to the match.
“It’s the most exciting one, probably,” he said when asked if the game was the biggest of his tenure.
“We had other ones, where we faced Chelsea in the FA Cup and Liverpool in the Community Shield was the same. When you have the opportunity to achieve one of your objectives in the season, you just can’t wait to play the game.”
Like Arteta is giving anything away.
Insert salt bae gif here.
No reason to give away early info to spuds
If White is available then I’d be fine with five at the back. Some would think it negative and not “the way” but it plays to Spurs’ weaknesses and we’ve done it in high-pressure games. The worst that could happen is a five-minute meltdown where a couple of balls go into space behind the defenders for a couple of breakaway Son goals. Then we’ll have to watch Xhaka roundhouse kick someone.
I think this would be a good option regardless of white being fit. It maybe also plays to Nunos and Cedric’s strengths or at least negates their weeknesses.
Back 3 with Gabriel, White and Bobby or Gabriel, White and Tomi?
“Accidentally” kick the face of Erik Dier (ala John Terry)
Kane is the one who normally deliver those balls behind the defenders. So stop him you snuffed out their most potent supply lines in those situations. Partey did a fine job on Kane last time out but for this game I guess in open play it would have to be a combo of Neny & MO who would be tasked to keep him quiet. Alternatively you can also asked one of the CB to mark him but if Kane managed to retain the ball deep in their half and turn to deliver one of those long balls then the CB… Read more »
I really hope we can wrap it up tomorrow and Saka gets to sit the last 2 games out
This is Arsenal. We don’t like to do things the easy way. But we play sp*rs so you never know. Last time we played them every Arsenal player was up for the game and we won. We need that mentality again tomorrow.
Im really happy we have squad depth to cover for this.
Tomiyasu’s return gives Arteta a lot of flexibility–for example, he can start with a back three with Saka as a wingback and then shift Tomiyasu to fullback and Saka to a conventional forward. Or do it the other way round.
If we win at the toilet bowl tomorrow night, I think that Saka should get the rest of the season off! He needs a rest!
Maybe we might fancy third-place finish, so I don’t see Saka getting rested