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Arsenal given quadruple injury boost ahead of North London Derby as key stars expected to return

Supporters understandably worry when players go away for the international break as their top stars are at risk of - at times at least - unnecessary injury. The break hasn't always been kind to Arsenal fans, but supporters can take comfort in the fact that four players could return to the squad ahead of the highly anticipated North London Derby on October 1.

As Tottenham are just a point behind Mikel Arteta's early Premier League leaders, the upcoming clash has some added importance. Arsenal will of course be looking to come away with the three points in front of their home fans, but an unbeaten Spurs side aren't going to easily roll over.

There were several injury concerns before the international break too, with Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Emile Smith Rowe, Cedric Soares, Reiss Nelson and Mohamed Elneny all unavailable for selection prior to Arsenal's 3-0 win over Brentford last weekend.

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Although the extensive list of absentees meant that Arteta was able to name three academy prospects on the bench, including Ethan Nwaneri, who became the youngest ever Premier League player after coming on for a short cameo at the age of just 15, the Spaniard will be hoping for his more senior stars to return to the fold.

Luckily, football.london understands that Arsenal are hopeful key players Odegaard and summer signing Zinchenko will be fit and ready to face Spurs come next Saturday. Both players have been sidelined with respective calf injuries, though Odegaard has travelled with Norway, with manager Stale Solbakken even suggesting that he could help the squad in a coaching role, should he be unable to play in their games against Slovenia and Serbia.

"We’ll certainly see him in Norway," he said. "Either as a player or a ‘fourth coach’. It means a lot to have him."

Portuguese defender Soares was expected to feature in the Gunners' Europa League win over Zurich earlier in the month, but he picked up an injury in training. He was expected to miss up to two weeks of action and football.london understands that it's likely he will return to face Arsenal's arch rivals.

Meanwhile, another who could reportedly return to the fold is Nelson, who has been absent since the Gunners' opening day victory over Crystal Palace, where he was an unused substitute. The 22-year-old has been suffering from a muscular issue, but did train before the clash with Brentford. Providing there's no further setbacks, he should be fit to return.

Away from the good news, the North London Derby may come too soon for Smith Rowe, whilst Ghana are monitoring Thomas Partey's fitness over the course of the international break after he made his return for Arsenal in west London on Sunday. Elneny is also still a while away from full recovery.

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