Four key Arsenal players were absent from their first-team training session on Tuesday (September 27) ahead of their big clash against arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, October 1.
The Gunners will host their city rivals in the Premier League in their first match post the international break.
While some of their players will be returning from international duty, some players missed first-team training on Tuesday (via Football.London).
Left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko missed training as he is recovering from a calf injury. He also missed Arsenal’s final match before the international break against Brentford and wasn’t part of the Ukraine squad for their UEFA Nations League fixtures.
However, he is expected to return against Tottenham this weekend.
Kieran Tierney, Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu, meanwhile, teamed up with their respective nations during the international break but had to return to the Emirates.
Tierney picked up a head injury during Scotland’s clash against the Republic of Ireland. Meanwhile, Partey returned from Ghana’s squad due to a knee issue.
The Japanese national team released a statement claiming that Tomiyasu left international duty due to “club circumstances” but he wasn’t seen in training either.
Mikel Arteta will hope to have these players back soon, with them facing a jam-packed schedule in October. The Gunners are set to play nine matches in October in all competitions, starting with the derby against Tottenham.
Spurs, meanwhile, will be without Ben Davies against Arsenal as he picked up a knee injury in their 2-0 defeat against Sporting CP. Hugo Lloris’ fitness is also under speculation as he didn’t feature for France during the international break after picking up an injury.
Lucas Moura could return to the bench against the Gunners after missing most of the season so far due to a tendon injury.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta could become only the third manager in the club’s history to win their first three north London derbies at home.
The Spaniard won his first home clash against Tottenham as manager 2-1 in the 2020-21 season. He then won last year’s clash 3-1 at the Emirates.
On Saturday, Arteta could join George Morrell (1909-1911) and Terry Neill (1977-79) on the list of Arsenal managers who have won their first three home clashes against Spurs.
The Gunners currently sit at the top of the Premier League table, having lost just one out of their seven matches played so far. Their only defeat came against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are third in the table, one point behind the Gunners, and are unbeaten in the league so far.
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