Injury News: Mikel Arteta hopes Ben White will return to action for Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur
The Englishman was Arsenal’s marquee summer signing and has been an ever-present for the Gunners this season. He missed Arsenal’s 2-1 win over West Ham United last week and the win against Leeds United by the same margin due to a hamstring injury and is currently on the sidelines.
Arsenal and Spurs are both in the fray for the coveted fourth place and will face off against each other in the North London derby next week. In a game that is usually closely fought, the smallest of margins could decide the outcome.
Tottenham’s draw at Anfield coupled with Arsenal’s win over Leeds United puts the latter in a better position to secure a top-four finish. This makes the upcoming clash a must-win for Antonio Conte and his side.
One player who faces a race against time to feature on the night is White. Arteta confirms that the defender is solely yet steadily returning to training on the pitch. The Arsenal boss is keen to have his best players available and is hopeful that White will return to action.
“I think so, he’s been starting to do a little bit of work now on the pitch and we want everybody available because we know that game is so important.”
Despite winning against 10 men Leeds, Arsenal struggled to hold onto their advantage in the second half. This was especially true after the Peacocks pulled one goal back. It is clear to see that the Gunners are defensively susceptible should the game be taken to them.
Even if White returns, he is unlikely to be at his best given that players can take time to return to full match fitness and their absolute 100% after an injury. Tottenham have some excellent players in attack and it will serve them well to take the game to Arsenal.
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Spurs have done well under Antonio Conte and continue to improve. Qualifying for the Champions League will certainly help accelerate their evolution. Whether that will happen in the coming weeks remains to be seen.
White missed out on Arsenal’s narrow wins against the Hammers and the Whites, where Gabriel Magalhaes and Rob Holding were the starting centre-backs. If the ex-Brighton doesn’t start for the Gunners in the NLD, perhaps we can see that pairing once again in their defence.