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By Sam Hill

Nuno Tavares has hinted that the Portuguese defender could start against Tottenham tonight following a post on Instagram.

Tavares posted an Instagram story in the hours before kick-off of a crucial north London derby, suggesting the defender will start against Tottenham tonight. Mikel Arteta is expected to be able to recall Benjamin White to the starting line-up, with Bukayo Saka also expected to be fit for the huge clash at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.

Takehiro Tomiyasu has shown his ability on either side of the defence and could be selected to start ahead of Tavares. Arteta has challenged the 22-year-old to perform better in the past, and should Tavares start tonight there is no bigger test for an Arsenal player than the north London derby.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta faces dream scenario where Arsenal can lose to Tottenham and still finish fourth

Tavares took to social media to share a story on Instagram in the build-up to the game against Spurs, which could hint that the Portuguese defender will be given a shock start tonight. Tavares also posted a short video on his Instagram profile @nuno_tavares71 previewing the huge game that could make or break Arsenal's Champions League bid.

Nuno Tavares posts on Instagram ahead of the north London derby. (Instagram)

The 22-year-old has only made 19 appearances in the Premier League this season, completing 90 minutes on just nine occasions for the Gunners. Tavares arrived at the Emirates last summer from Benfica and has had an indifferent season under Arteta, but could be handed a surprise start with Kieran Tierney absent with injury.

Arsenal could utilise Saka in a similar role to how he played against Chelsea in a hybrid right wingback/right forward role which could allow Tomiyasu to move over to left wingback. Arteta may prefer to have Saka higher up the pitch on the counter-attack due to his pace, meaning Tomiyasu could start at right wingback with Tavares returning to the starting eleven at left wingback as he did against West Ham.

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Dive Deeper:
Bukayo Saka and Ben White’s potential North London Derby absence prompt Arsenal structure change
Mikel Arteta might have to change up his Arsenal team for the North London Derby as both Ben White and…
Full Arsenal squad revealed for Tottenham clash as Mikel Arteta faces huge Ben White decision
Arsenal will be aiming to make it five wins in a row when they travel to north London rivals Tottenham…
Where the biggest North London derby in decades will be won
Can Elneny stop Kane the creator?
Confirmed Arsenal XI vs Tottenham as Bukayo Saka returns, Takehiro Tomiyasu starts at left-back
Mikel Arteta has named his Arsenal team to take on Tottenham in the crucial Premier League match
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Gabriel Martinelli reveals who the fastest player is at Arsenal and it's not him or Bukayo Saka
Gabriel Martinelli says left-back Nuno Tavares is the quickest player in Arsenal's squad
Mikel Arteta provides worrying update on Gabriel amid Rob Holding red card appeal decision
The Gunners are looking short in the centre back position amid injuries to Ben White and Gabriel and a red…
Get all your news in one place