Mikel Arteta delivers eight-man injury crisis at Arsenal before the North London derby

Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of Saturday's North London derby with Spurs.
Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of Saturday’s North London derby with Spurs.

Arsenal are sweating on the fitness of several players ahead of Saturday’s North London derby with Spurs.

The Gunners face Spurs in Saturday’s early kickoff; a win would extend their lead to four points. However, they could be without up to eight players due to Mikel Arteta’s injury.

Mohamed Elneny and Emile Smith Rowe had already been ruled out, but Thomas Partey, Kieran Tierney, and Takerhiro Tomiyasu’s early returns from international duty leave Arsenal’s squad stretched.

Partey withdrew from Ghana’s starting lineup moments before last week’s game against Brazil with knee discomfort. He has missed four of Arsenal’s eight games this season due to a persistent thigh problem.

The midfielder’s latest injury has raised new doubts about his long-term availability. While his latest setback is not thought to be serious, the club’s medical team will not rush him back into action.

Tierney is second choice at left back this season after Oleksandr Zinchenko’s summer arrival, but he returned to north London early due to concussion protocols.

The Scotsman was withdrawn from Saturday’s 2-1 win against Ireland after a clash of heads, leaving Arteta with a left back selection dilemma.

Zinchenko is injured. The 25-year-old is struggling to recover from a calf strain that kept him out of Ukraine’s 3-0 win over Brentford and tonight’s Nations League final against Scotland.

Tomiyasu, another defender, has also returned. The Japanese right back impressed in Friday’s 2-0 win over the U.S., but he flew back to London for club reasons before tonight’s match with Ecuador.

Martin Odegaard and Ben White are recovering from injuries at Arsenal’s London Colney training base. Former missed recent win over Brentford and international duty with Norway, while latter was substituted in second half.

Smith Rowe and Elneny are also recovering from injuries after missing Saturday’s game against Tottenham. Long-term layoffs are expected.

Smith Rowe may need groin surgery after missing Arsenal’s last two games, and Elneny is unlikely to play again this season after tearing his hamstring in his only start against Fulham in August.

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