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Mikel Arteta provides major update on White and Saka's fitness ahead of North London Derby

By Kaya Kaynak

Mikel Arteta has given an update on his side's team news ahead of Thursday's North London Derby. The Gunners go into the game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium knowing that they have the chance to secure Champions League qualification for next season with a victory.

As a result they will want all their first team players, but know that they will already be without key players Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney. They have at least been bolstered by the return of Takehiro Tomiyasu to the starting XI in wins over West Ham and Leeds.

However, Ben White missed both those games and was replaced by Rob Holding in the starting XI. Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka limped off with what was described as a minor injury in both games too. Now Arteta has provided the latest on the England internationals' fitness prior to the crucial clash with Spurs.

READ MORE: Tottenham vs Arsenal: North London Derby provides epic showdown for Champions League football

"Thomas is still out, Kieran is still out," the Spaniard began. "Ben is a doubt. We’ll have to assess him he’s feeling much better and Bukayo is the same."

When pressed on giving the pair a chance of making the North London Derby on Thursday, Arteta admitted that he would have to wait until the last minute to be certain. "Very difficult to rate (a chance) with injuries, it’s just how they feel today," he said. "That’s the last day we can assess them so we’ll have to see."

This game carries a huge opportunity for Arsenal, but the fact that they don't need to win it to secure top four has led many to questions as to what their game plan will be. Arteta confirmed that he intends to go out and win it. "For me it’s more about the excitement and the opportunity," the Spaniard said. "When you have that in football you have to go and do it."

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Dive Deeper:
Ben White's Tottenham worry, Bukayo Saka knock: Arsenal injury news ahead of north London Derby
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Nuno Tavares and Cedric Soares’ North London Derby snub as Mikel Arteta makes Ben White decision
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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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