Tottenham v Arsenal: Arteta shares Saka update ahead of North London derby
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has hinted that Buyako Saka will be fine to start in the North London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.
The Gunners head to N17 on Sunday to face Antonio Conte’s Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Arsenal remain top of the Premier League table, though they did drop two points last time out.
The Gunners played out a 0-0 draw at Newcastle in their first match of 2023.
However, they go into the derby on the back of a victory, having beaten Oxford United 3-0 in the FA Cup on Monday.
Arsenal will take on a Tottenham side that has picked up form in recent days.
Spurs have flattered to deceive on numerous occasions this term, but hammered Crystal Palace 4-0 in their last league game.
Tottenham, like Arsenal, have also won their last fixture, beating Portsmouth 1-0 in the FA Cup third round.
Saka was a doubt going into the derby, after having to come off before full time against Oxford on Monday.
The 21-year-old limped off at the Kassam Stadium, with Emile Smith Rowe taking his place.
However, Arteta sought to allay fears over Saka’s fitness at his pre-match press conference.
When pressed by journalists, the Arsenal boss said, as per the official website: “I think he will be okay.”
Arteta was then asked if he thought players like Saka need more protection from referees and officials.
“It’s something that we’ve discussed many, many times,” the Spaniard said, as per 90Min.
“I think the referees have a duty to protect the game in general and they do their best to try to do that.”
Tottenham appear to have a couple of potential injury boosts ahead of the game, so it’s good that Arsenal do too.
Saka is an absolutely ‘outstanding‘ player who makes the difference in games.
His absence would be a huge blow for Arsenal, particularly in a game as big as the derby.
Arteta doesn’t seem concerned about Saka’s fitness, so hopefully the good news will be confirmed at 3:30pm on Sunday.