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Mikel Arteta reveals that key Arsenal pair are a ‘doubt’ for the north London derby

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed that key duo Bukayo Saka and Ben White are doubts for the upcoming north London derby, set to be the most pivotal game of his managerial career to date.

The Gunners travel to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium four points clear of their north London rivals, knowing that a win would cement their position in the Champions League for next season at the expense of Antonio Conte’s side. It is perhaps the biggest north London Derby since 2004.

However, Arsenal may have to do without Saka and White, Arteta revealed in his pre-match press conference.

Asked about the injury latest on his side, the Spaniard revealed that ‘Thomas [Partey] is still out, Kieran [Tierney] is still out.

Then, he added that ‘Ben [White] is a doubt. We’ll have to assess him. He’s feeling much better and Bukayo [Saka] is the same.’

Pushed further on their status ahead of the game, Arteta was keen not to give away too much.

Ben White has missed the last two Arsenal games through injury, while Saka has come off in both encounters, suggesting that he may perhaps be managing an injury.

Defining game for both sides

Thursday’s derby is likely to define not only this season, but plenty to come for the two clubs. Whichever side makes it into the Champions League will have the added pull when it comes to attracting top talent to their club, although the attraction of Antonio Conte may perhaps counteract that.

It should prove to be a fascinating 90 minutes in north London, and one that could set the tone for a long while to come.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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