Tottenham v Arsenal: Arteta shares Saka update ahead of North London derby
Photo by murphynee de rockster/Arsenal FC via Getty Images
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted that Buyako Saka will be fit to start against Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby.
The Gunners travel to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday to face Antonio Conte’s Spurs.
Arsenal remains atop the Premier League table, despite dropping two points last time out.
In their first match of 2023, the Gunners drew 0-0 at Newcastle.
They do, however, come into the derby on the back of a win, having defeated Oxford United 3-0 in the FA Cup on Monday.
Arsenal will face a Tottenham side that has improved recently.
Spurs have deceived on numerous occasions this season, but they thrashed Crystal Palace 4-0 in their last league game.
Tottenham, like Arsenal, won their most recent match, defeating Portsmouth 1-0 in the FA Cup third round.
Saka was a doubt for the derby after being forced to leave the game against Oxford before the end.
Emile Smith Rowe took his place after the 21-year-old limped off at Kassam Stadium.
During his pre-match press conference, Arteta sought to allay concerns about Saka’s fitness.
When pressed by journalists, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, according to the official website, “I think he’ll be fine.”
Arteta was then asked if he believed players like Saka needed more protection from officials and referees.
“It’s something we’ve talked about many, many times,” the Spaniard told 90Min.
“I believe referees have a responsibility to protect the game in general, and they do their best to do so.”
Tottenham appears to have a couple of potential injury boosts ahead of the game, which is good news for Arsenal.
Saka is an ‘outstanding’ player who makes a game-changing difference.
His absence would be devastating for Arsenal, especially in a game as important as the derby.
Saka’s fitness does not appear to be a concern for Arteta, so hopefully, the good news will be confirmed at 3:30 pm on Sunday.