Arsenal have been given a boost ahead of Sunday’s north London derby with Tottenham with the news that Toby Alderweireld and Erik Lamela will both miss the game at the Emirates.
Alderweireld’s absence is a particular blow with the Belgium international a key part of the defence which is the meanest in the Premier League, having conceded just five goals in 10 games.
Lamela will also miss the clash, although Mauricio Pochettino’s men will be relieved to see Harry Kane return, having struggled for goals in recent games.
“It’s not a risk – the doctor says he [Kane] is fine,” Pochettino said via Sky Sports.
“We had many, many small problems [in October] – maybe November and December can be fantastic months for us.
“I need to decide if he is in the starting XI or on the bench. We’re very happy – yesterday [Thursday] he had a very good training session. He’s fit.
- Arsenal boosted as 23-goal striker reveals he’d ‘love to play’ in the Premier League
- Report claims Arsenal to be snubbed by playmaker for transfer to rivals Everton
- Arsenal weighing up double swoop to reunite Traorè brothers in north London
“It’s important – the last few seasons he’s been very important for us. It’s important he is fit, important for the club.
“Alderweireld close but won’t be ready until after the international break and isn’t in the Belgian squad.”
Tottenham will also be without some other notable absentees for the clash with Ben Davies also out, Mousa Dembele a doubt while summer signing Moussa Sissoko is suspended.
Spurs come into the game off the back of a demoralising 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday at Wembley.
Pochettino’s men have not lost in the Premier League so far this season, but lie three points behind the Gunners and have scored just three goals in their last seven games in all competitions.
Arsenal meanwhile, are unbeaten since the opening day and will be full of confidence after midweek victory over Luodogorets where they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 courtesy of some Mesut Ozil magic.