Mikel Arteta's team news ahead of North London Derby
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Arsenal will hope that a successful start to the season will lead to a victory over Tottenham in the first north London derby of the campaign. Mikel Arteta has had to deal with several injuries already this season but could welcome back three key stars. Express Sport looks at a predicted Arsenal team to start at the Emirates Stadium.
Aaron Ramsdale enjoyed a successful international break without playing a game. The Arsenal shot-stopper is surely now the No 2 to England’s Jordan Pickford after Nick Pope endured a tough couple of performances against Italy and Germany.
There was some bafflement that it was not Ramsdale who was selected to deputise for the injured Pickford given his form this season. The 24-year-old is Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper and is set to feature in his third North London Derby.
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Defenders: White, Saliba, Gabriel, Zinchenko
Arteta is expecting to have Oleksandr Zinchenko back for Saturday’s clash. The Ukrainian missed the 3-0 win over Brentford prior to the international break.
Ben White will surely keep his place at right-back despite Takehiro Tomiyasu’s return to fitness. White will have a tough task up against Son Heung-min, who returned to form with a stunning hat-trick in Spurs’ 6-2 win over Leicester.
William Saliba will get his first taste of a North London Derby alongside Gabriel. The pair have struck up an excellent relationship so far this season.
Cedric Soares is ruled out through injury but Kieran Tierney could be fit and will compete with Zinchenko for a starting place.
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Midfielders: Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard
Arsenal will check on the fitness of midfield pair Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard before the Spurs game. Both featured for their nations during the international break, although Partey withdrew from Ghana’s squad due to a knee issue.
Odegaard missed the win over Brentford and Arteta has goalscoring full debutant Fabio Vieira waiting for another opportunity if the Norwegian cannot play. Vieira was excellent against the Bees, scoring a wonderful effort from long range.
The reinvented Granit Xhaka will have a key role to play in midfield, preventing the likes of Rodrigo Bentacur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from controlling the game. Mohamed Elneny is ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Attackers: Saka, Jesus, Martinelli
Arsenal could be without Emile Smith Rowe until December after the England playmaker underwent surgery on an ongoing groin problem. The 21-year-old has now been ruled out until after the World Cup, ruining his chances of featuring for the Three Lions in Qatar.
Smith Rowe had played just 47 minutes of football before he worsened his groin injury during the cool-down after Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat by Manchester United. His absence will allow Gabriel Martinelli to continue his extended run in Arteta’s team.
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