Mikel Arteta has confirmed that Arsenal duo Bukayo Saka and Ben White will be judged ahead of the North London derby on Thursday at Tottenham.
Saka withdrew after a 68-minute 2-1 victory over Leeds Great Sundaywhile defender White played for the Gunners a 3-1 win over Manchester United at the Emirates on 23 April.
The Arsenal manager suggested at his press conference on Wednesday afternoon that there would be doubts about whether the pair would appear in Thursday’s clash, which airs live on the Sky Sports Premier League from 7 p.m. Start at 7:45 p.m.
He said: “Thomas (Partey) is still out, Kieran (Tierney) is out, and Ben is still in doubt. We need to evaluate him and see how he feels, which is much better, and Bukayo the same.
“It’s very difficult to assess injuries. That’s how they feel today. It’s the last day we can assess them.”
If he wins at Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal will qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2016/17 season – the penultimate campaign of Arsene Wenger at the helm of the club. The Spurs have four points less than Arsenal in fifth place.
The Frenchman once said that qualifying for the European club competition was “like winning a trophy”, and Arteta said he knew the difficulty of the game.
Arteta said: “I’ve heard that quote many times from many different managers and I think Arsene was the first to say it because he could probably see what’s going on in this league and how hard it is to achieve that.
“I feel that it will be extremely important for the club.
“[This is] the most exciting game [as Arsenal boss]probably, but we had others when we played the final against Chelsea and Liverpool in the FA Cup and Community Shield.
“When you have the opportunity to achieve some of your goals in the season, you can’t wait to play the game because this is a job and a job you’ve been doing all season to try to earn it.
“The message is clear: if we win against them, we are in the Champions League next season. It’s not that they need more motivation and to tell them other than that. The opportunity is there and we will play and go for it as we always do because that’s how we came in this position and so we will approach it. “
He also made it clear that he and his team must be mentally prepared for the clash, despite the weight of expectations ahead of them.
Arteta added: “We try to approach every game emotionally in the best way and there are moments and people who can better than me describe what the game means, or in a different way than me. We always try to find the right way to make players play the right way.” Which they must play that day.
“We all know about it and what it means to our fans. After that, it’s a football field with a lot of noise and an audience that will enthusiastically support the team and we will have our fans 100 percent behind the team.
“We all know where we want to be and the competitions we want to be involved in. To do that, we have to achieve what we want through the Premier League this season. For me, it’s about excitement and opportunity. When you have it in football, you have to go and deliver and that’s the way we all think about tomorrow. “
Watch Tottenham vs Arsenal live on the Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 7pm on Thursday; Start at 7:45 p.m.