Arsenal return to action on Saturday against Tottenham in one of the season’s most key games, so let’s take a look at the latest team news.
The Gunners returned to winning ways in their last game, defeating Brentford. This propelled them to the top of the league, and they now face the Spurs, who are only one point behind them.
In terms of team news, Mohamed Elneny is a long-term absentee. Emile Smith Rowe is another player who has joined him on that list. The youngster will have surgery that will keep him out until December.
Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Thomas Partey, Alex Zinchenko, and Kieran Tierney will be in the squad for the weekend, which is good news for the north Londoners.
Mikel Arteta ahead of Tottenham
On team news: "We just finished the last training session, and many players arrived yesterday. We had a short period to prepare the match, but the boys look in good condition." On Zinchenko, Partey and Tierney: "They are part of the team!" On Smith Rowe's surgery: "We had to make a decision, and we could not continue with that uncertainty. The player was the first one demanding that he wanted an end decision, and then we had to support him on that. After surgery, it's very difficult to give a timeline. We need to go step by step. We know before the World Cup will not be involved." On Saliba: "This is football and Willy has shown what he’s capable of in the past few months. I have no doubts about him." [AFC]
This is arguably the most difficult game the Gunners have faced so far this season. If Mikel Arteta can win this weekend, it will demonstrate that this team is here to stay. But beating a talented team like the Spurs will be difficult.
The hosts must be cautious of the counterattack, as it will be the visitors’ most powerful weapon. This is what residents of north London should be on the lookout for, and the responsibility is on people like William Saliba and Gabriel.
For the Gunners, having Thomas Partey back in the starting XI will be extremely beneficial. Setting the tempo of the game is important because it is one way to ensure that the Spurs do not have much time with the ball.
Arsenal has the talent to win, but this will be a test of their mental fortitude. They must keep them turned on at all times to prevent the visitors from scoring. The hosts will try to score first in order to put pressure on Tottenham.