The much awaited North London Derby is finally upon us after a terribly boring and as usual god awful interlul. With Arsenal losing 3-1 to Manchester City before the break with a lot of help from the match officials, the importance of three points against our deeply beloved rivals sp*rs cannot be stressed enough.
As Arsenal trail behind the league leaders by a margin of 12 points already, picking up three points against the third placed team will help bridge the gap between the second placed Manchester United and us to just a point ahead of their match against Newcastle while still trailing tottenham by a point.
Speaking in his usual pre-match press conference Arsene Wenger delivered a precise and brief injury update on almost all his sidelined players or those with a possibility of being short ahead of the match.
Laurent Koscielny (achillis tendon) :
The Arsenal defender was left out of France’s team to play Germany during the midweek due to permanent pain in his Achilles, but he will be able to face Spurs on Saturday.
“It (the break) was needed for him. “We couldn’t use him for a number of games, he just came back against City because he had an Achilles tendon injury. “If he had played in midweek, he certainly would not have been available for Saturday.”
So kos should fit and kicking around a few neighbours on the pitch on saturday.
Olivier Giroud (thigh) :
Our dashing French forward and 7th all time highest scorer for France will miss out the match due to an injury suffered while playing for France in a friendly in which he scored and then had to be substituted with a thing injury.
“Olivier picked up an injury, and I don’t think he will be available for Saturday.It is short term and he should start [training] on Monday, we will have to assess him then but I don’t think he will be available this weekend “.
In what looks like a short term injury, Oliver Giroud seems set to return to normal training from Monday onward if further scans permit.
Skhodran Mustafi (thigh) and Danny Welback (groin) :
The German centre-back was seen back in training this week after a 6 week lay off due to a thigh injury suffered on international duty with Germany.
English striker Danny Welback has also rejoined the team in full training since the start of the week after suffering a groin injury and will most likely be involved from the bench.
Both will be further analyzed and their fitness monitored on friday ahead of the game.
“Mustafi will have a final check tomorrow,” Welbeck as well. I’ll make decisions on them on Friday.”
Santi Magician Cazorla ( calf) :
Speaking on the horrifying injury by Santi and praising his resilience in face of such adversity and emotionally challenging situations, Wenger went on to describe what an excellent fighting spirit the little Spaniard has inside him to face all that and how he hoped to have him back right after the turn of the year.
Here is what he had to say on Santi Cazorla –
“I saw him one month ago, he was here, and I told him to prepare as well as he can,” “He has competent medical people around him and he tries to practice, but I have not spoken to him recently. I hope he comes back and will be available in January.”
So chances are that we might have Santi back right after the end of the year and included in the Premier League squad.
So now that leaves the defensive trio of Rob Holding, Per Mertesacker & Calum Chambers who were all previously injured in the last match but will now be in contention for a place in the team against Sp*rs after recovering from their respective illnesses and injuries.
Apart from Oliver Giroud and Santi Cazorla, the return of so many injured players at once leaves us with almost the entire team fit and raring to go ahead of the most eagerly anticipated and viciously watched match of the season.
Lets hope for nothing less than three points and utter humiliation for our neighbors in our backyard.