Mikel Arteta delivers six-word team news update ahead of north London derby. Mikel Arteta opted not to give much away in terms of Arsenal’s team news ahead of Saturday’s north London derby clash against Tottenham.
The Gunners top the Premier League table going into the match at the Emirates Stadium this weekend.
Arteta’s side have won six of their opening seven matches this season, while Spurs are just a point behind them in third place.
There are question marks over the fitness of Kieran Tierney, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Thomas Partey heading into the derby.
When asked on Friday about the availability of the aforementioned trio, Arteta simply replied: ‘They are part of the team.’
On the general fitness of the squad following the international break, Arteta added: ‘We just finished the last training session, we had many players arriving yesterday so we had a short period to prepare the match.
Mikel Arteta delivers six-word team news update ahead of north London derby. ‘But the boys look in good condition.’
A player who definitely won’t be featuring this weekend is Emile Smith Rowe, who has had surgery on a groin problem.
The club are hopeful the midfielder can rejoin full training in December, but Arteta couldn’t give an exact timeframe for his return.
‘We had to make a decision and we could not continue with that uncertainty,’ he said.
‘The player was the first one demanding that he wanted an end decision and then we have to support him on that.
‘After a surgery it’s very difficult to give a timeline. We need to go step by step. We know before the World Cup he’s not going to be involved.’
The much-anticipated clash against Spurs provides the Gunners with the opportunity to extend their lead over second-placed Manchester City, who face Manchester United in another derby on Sunday.