Arsene Wenger has admitted he is “very concerned” over the amount of injuries suffered by Arsenal, with Hector Bellerin ruled out against Spurs.
After Bellerin and Laurent Koscielny both missed Arsenal’s 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, with their deputies Gabriel, Per Mertesacker and Mathieu Debuchy enduring error-strewn performances, Wenger had hoped the pair would return against Spurs for Sunday’s North London derby.
Wenger confirmed that Koscielny has a chance to make the Premier League clash, but that right-back Bellerin is ruled out.
“Koscielny may be back but Bellerin is ruled out already,” Wenger said.
“From one competition to the other. I believe in the Premier League we have a strong confidence and we want to reproduce it on Sunday against Tottenham.
“They are a side that are strong defensively and can play at a a high pace in a committed way.
“They’ve done well. They’ve lost only one game. They’ve had a few draws but overall they’ve looked stable.
“They have always in my memory had strong teams. It will be a tough opponent just like every year.”
Arsenal sit second in the Premier League, level on points with Manchester City and behind them only on goal difference after 11 games, and Wenger is suitably impressed with his side.
“It’s remarkable what my players have done,” he said. “Now we want to take advantage and continue.”
Only Newcastle are suffering more injuries currently than the Gunners (12 to Arsenal’s eight), and with a past of fitness problems at the Emirates, Wenger admits he is “very concerned”.
“We are only in November and we have so many players out,” Wenger said.
“We go into the Christmas period and I am concerned because we have too many players out. I give Koscielny 80 per cent. He will have a test tomorrow.”