Arsenal receives an encouraging boost ahead of what is supposed to be one of the biggest London Derbies in recent years; full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko and midfielders Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard could be fit in time for the big showdown north of London.
Mikel Arteta and his Gunners lead the rest of the pack in the top flight, including their city rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, by a single point. A win for either North London side means a top spot after Matchday 9 proceedings are complete (depending on Man City’s results).
This is why it’s vital to collect all three points and not drop any. Any slip-up also invites Manchester City, who are on the same number of points as Spurs (17 points), to overtake and reclaim their spot as England’s number one team.
Judging by Erling Haaland’s ruthless goalscoring form, they could be taking all the points in their equally anticipated Manchester Derby against a revitalised United.
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Important for Arsenal to have their top players available
Giving Arteta a major boost ahead of the fixture, he has three players that could make a potential return to action in the first kickoff of the weekend. The trio of captain Martin Odegaard, midfield commander Thomas Partey, and instant impact Oleksandr Zinchenko are all set for a return to the matchday squad and maybe even the starting lineup.
With Odegaard, he should feature and take back the captain’s armband after missing out on the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Brentford just ahead of the international break. Thankfully and the reason why he will feature: he made appearances for Norway in both their Nations League losses against Slovenia and Serbia, respectively.
Partey, on the other hand, has been in and out of the doctor’s room. After just coming back from injury, the player returned home early from his country duties, sustaining another injury. His chances of starting are less than Odegaard’s.
Another starting doubt is Zinchenko. The Ukrainian has been sidelined since before their final Premier League victory and has been on the road to recovery since, not making the trip for all of Ukraine’s matches.
As per reports: Cedric Soares, Mohamed Elneny, and Takehiro Tomiyasu continue their road to recovery, with Cedric picking up a “fresh” setback.