Arsenal have been handed a triple injury boost ahead of their Premier League clash with Tottenham after the international break.
THE LOWDOWN: RETURN TO ACTION
Arsenal are set to welcome some key squad members back from injury for the game against city rivals Spurs next weekend.
The Gunners have been on top of their game since the season began, with six wins from seven games to sit top of the Premier League log ahead of the likes of Manchester City and Spurs. Despite missing a host of first-team names, Arsenal still managed to thump last season’s nemesis Brentford 3-0 at the community stadium on Sunday.
Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Reiss Nelson all missed that game, which offered Mikel Arteta the opportunity to field teenage sensation Ethan Nwaneri. Meanwhile, all three players are set to make a return ahead of the visit of Antonio Conte’s men to the Emirates in October.
THE LATEST: TIMELY BOOST
Arsenal are hopeful that Martin Odegaard, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Reiss Nelson will make a return for October’s North London derby.
Both Odegaard and Zinchenko missed the win over Brentford last weekend after picking up knocks in training, while Nelson has been a long-term absentee.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian FA have already confirmed that Zinchenko, who has a recurring problem, will not be available for the international games in order for him to continue his recovery.
On the other hand, Norway manager Stale Solbakken provided an update on Odegaard’s condition earlier this week, admitting that the skipper is not doing well.
“We are in regular dialogue with him and (Mikel) Arteta and Arsenal’s health sector, as it is called in Danish. Nothing has been decided there, so there is still hope,” Solbakken told TV2.
However, Goal reports that Odegaard and Zinchenko’s injuries are minor and that both men could make a return against Antonio Conte’s men after the international break.
As for Nelson, the English forward is yet to make any appearance for the Gunners this term, but he was seen in training with the rest of the squad last week. Defender Cedric Soares could be available if he recovers from his knock in time, but Emile Smith Rowe and Mohamed Elneny are long-term absentees, especially the latter who is not expected to return to action until 2023.
THE VERDICT: GOOD UPDATE
Arsenal have done well in the short absence of Zinchenko after Kieran Tierney returned to full fitness, while Nelson has not really played a part this season but Odegaard’s experience could be crucial in the game against Spurs next weekend.
Arsenal did not miss him against Brentford where Fabio Vieira did an excellent job and is now in contention for a start in that game against the North London side. Generally, it is good news to have some of the first team members back ahead of a run of important fixtures.