Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has the luxury of a fully-fit squad to choose from ahead of Sunday’s first north London derby of the season against Tottenham.
After a disastrous start to the season which saw the Gunners lose their first three Premier League matches, Arteta’s men have steadied the ship with three wins on the bounce, against Norwich, Burnley and AFC Wimbledon, the latter in midweek in the Carabao Cup.
Midfielder Thomas Partey started that game and played for an hour as he looks to build sharpness ahead of the Spurs clash, but Arteta made ten changes beyond the Ghanaian, meaning he should have a well-rested side to put out.
“He hasn’t played a lot of minutes since he’s been injured and the rhythm of matches is not like any training session,” Arteta added. “We need him to play so it was beneficial. “We didn’t think [there was any risk] but there’s always a risk when you play a match or a training session at the intensity we train at. We believed it was the right thing to do and he was really pushing for it.”
Arteta’s main decision would appear to be over whether to continue with the attacking system he employed at Burnley, with Emile Smith Rowe and Martin Odegaard either side of Partey, or to bring in a more conservative midfielder such as Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Arsenal likely XI: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Odegaard, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Saka, Aubameyang.