Arsenal vs Tottenham: Spurs' and Gunners' Injury Situations Heading into Derby

Frank Wagner@Fw1812Correspondent INovember 16, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Gareth Bale of Spurs receives treatment after clashing with  Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Don't worry, I know how you're feeling.

The eve of a North London Derby is never the best for supporters of the two cousin clubs. A combination of anticipation and dread (okay, maybe that's more on Spurs' side) doesn't equate to the most restful night.

If you're like me, you will be scouring the web for any and all information on the match in order in preparation of the encounter. So let's add to the sources to turn to in the leadup to this match.

With both sides struggling for fitness, here are the key injury issues heading into Saturday's North London Derby.



Manager Arsene Wenger and the Gunners are really facing concerns throughout their squad with lots of players either out or facing fitness tests.

The Arsenal boss made his feelings clear on the matter, pointing to the timing of this week's international friendlies as a key contributing factor.

Talking to reporters Friday, Wenger said:

"Apart from long-term injuries I get a bit confused because we have so many players who come back with injuries or small injuries. We need to see how they are today.

"[Wojciech] Szczesny, [Bacary] Sagna, [Theo] Walcott, [Alex Oxlade-]Chamberlain, [Mikel] Arteta, [Olivier] Giroud—there are so many—I think I will need a few doctors this morning.

"Arteta has a little hip problem and Giroud has come back with a hamstring and calf problem.

"They all have a chance to be in the squad. Walcott came off against Fulham and will have a test, so will Szczesny."

To add on to that list, some have also cast doubts on the fitness of the Gunners' key creative midfielder Santi Cazorla, who traveled a total of 10,000 miles to Panama with the Spanish national team midweek just to be left on the bench.

The read: While many of these players would be huge misses for Arsenal, I don't expect all of them to miss out on the match.

Giroud and Arteta seem set to miss out on the action, but the others have a good chance of making it onto the pitch.

Whether they are at the top of their games, though, is yet to be seen.



Just like Wenger, Spurs' manager Andre Villas-Boas faces some serious concerns heading into Saturday's big match.

For the fifth consecutive Premier League match, Spurs will be without Moussa Dembele in the midfield.

Meanwhile, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe all face fitness tests heading into Saturday morning.

The read: Similar to Arsenal's situation, this list is the worst-case scenario for Tottenham.

Dembele is the only certain loss of the bunch, while any or all of the other three could make it onto the field come kickoff.

With Emmanuel Adebayor impressing last week and Kyle Naughton eager to please from the bench, Defoe and Walker might not be the most important misses should they fail their fitness tests.

Lennon, on the other hand, would be tough to replace with his speedy play, especially against Arsenal's left flank—perhaps their weakest point.

This is certainly something to follow heading into kickoff.



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