Ben White's Tottenham worry, Bukayo Saka knock: Arsenal injury news ahead of north London Derby
Arsenal take on Tottenham Hotspur this evening for one of the most highly-anticipated north London derbies in recent memory.
The Gunners currently sit four points ahead of their fierce rivals going into Thursday's clash, with a win securing them a place in next season's UEFA Champions League. However, Spurs haven't lost a Premier League match at home to their local rivals since 2014 and Antonio Conte's recent record in big games shows that it is anyone's game.
Mikel Arteta also has a number of injuries to key players and ahead of tonight's kickoff, football.london takes a look at all of the fitness issues the Spaniard has to deal with.
Ben White has been instrumental for Arteta's side since he signed from Brighton for £50million last summer. The England international offers a calming presence alongside the more physically dominant Gabriel Magalhaes, with the two centre-backs forming a solid partnership at the back.
However, White has been sidelined in recent weeks, missing wins 2-1 wins against West Ham United and Leeds United due to a hamstring strain. Speaking about the 24-year-old's fitness in his pre-match press conference, Arteta said: "Ben (White) is a doubt.
"We’ll have to assess him; he’s feeling much better and Bukayo is the same."
Alarm bells began to ring when the Arsenal boss confirmed that Bukayo Saka was a doubt to face the Lillywhites. The club's reigning player of the year has delivered multiple impressive big-game performances this term, scoring against Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United whilst also netting a goal and providing an assist in the reverse fixture against Tottenham.
However, Saka is frequently kicked by opposition defenders and it now seems that this has caught up to him, with the Hale End academy graduate facing a race against time to return in time to play Antonio Conte's side.
Thomas Partey has been out of action with a thigh injury since last month's 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. The Ghanaian international won't be fit to play against Tottenham but football.london understands that the 28-year-old has been taking part in individual training sessions each day with the target of being back in the first team squad within the "next few weeks".
A source told football.london that the current best-case scenario for Partey would be for the tough-tackling midfielder to return for the final game of the season against Everton later this month. Still, the Gunners' medical staff are keen not to rush him back and complicate his recovery.
Scottish fullback Kieran Tierney will not play again this season after sustaining a long-term knee injury which he has since undergone surgery for.