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Arsenal handed key double injury boost as Tottenham derby looms

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rsenal appear to have been handed a double injury boost ahead of their massive north London derby against Tottenham next weekend.

The in-form Gunners welcome Spurs to Emirates Stadium for a lunchtime kick-off in their first fixture back after the international break on October 1, sitting one point clear of their rivals and defending champions Manchester City at the Premier League summit after making it six wins from seven top-flight matches so far this term with a 3-0 victory at Brentford.

Arsenal look set to have Martin Odegaard available for selection against their fiercest rivals, with the influential captain returning to action for Norway on Saturday.

The former Real Madrid midfielder had missed the Brentford game due to a knock to his calf suffered in training. However, the issue was not thought to be serious and he subsequently joined up with his country for Nations League matches against Slovenia and Serbia having initially stayed behind in London to work with Arsenal’s physios.

Martin Odegaard played all but 19 minutes of Norway’s defeat by Slovenia on Saturday night

/ REUTERS

Odegaard then returned to full training with Norway and manager Stale Solbakken said there was a “good chance” he would feature in the first Group B4 meeting in Ljubljana on Saturday.

And play he did, with the 23-year-old starting alongside the likes of Erling Haaland and managing 71 minutes of a 2-1 defeat for the visitors at Stadion Stozice before being replaced by Benfica midfielder Fredrik Aursnes. Provided he suffers no setbacks, skipper Odegaard will surely start again for Norway against Serbia in Oslo on Tuesday as they battle for Nations League promotion.

Another Arsenal player to feature on Nations League duty on Saturday evening was Kieran Tierney. The left-back started for Scotland against the Republic of Ireland in Glasgow, but was withdrawn shortly before half-time of the 2-1 comeback win at Hampden Park that left Steve Clarke’s side requiring just a point against Ukraine in Krakow on Tuesday to seal top spot in Group B1.

Kieran Tierney was substituted before half-time in Scotland’s comeback win over Ireland

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Fellow full-back – and former Arsenal transfer target – Aaron Hickey of Brentford was also substituted against Ireland, but Scotland boss Steve Clarke confirmed after the match that both players were fine and that the changes were merely precautionary.

“Both of them are okay,” said Clarke. “We took Kieran off as a precaution. Aaron felt a tightness, so we took him off as a precaution.”

Arsenal will need to assess Thomas Partey, who has returned home early after sustaining a knee injury before Ghana’s friendly defeat by Brazil in Le Havre on Friday. He was withdrawn before that fixture and will not play against Nicaragua on Tuesday.

Oleksandr Zinchenko, Mohamed Elneny, Emile Smith Rowe, Cedric Soares and Reiss Nelson are the other Arsenal players currently nursing injuries as Tottenham and a hectic pre-World Cup fixture schedule looms large.

Takehiro Tomiyasu also returned early from international duty over the weekend for what Japan described as “club circumstances” rather than any injury setback after Friday’s friendly win over the United States in Dusseldorf.

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