It’s almost time for the first north London derby of the season as Tottenham host fierce rivals Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.
Spurs go into this round of games top of the Premier League and could be serious title contenders this season – but it is a completely different story for Arsenal.
The Gunners have struggled and find themselves down in 14th with their star players struggling for form in the first ten games of the season.
Tottenham had a number of injury concerns earlier this week but their biggest fear was over star striker Harry Kane – who appeared likely to miss Sunday’s derby.
But manager Jose Mourinho provided a positive update on the England captain’s fitness and tipped him to start against the Gunners.
“I believe he is going to be fit,’ said Mourinho after Thursday’s Europa League draw with LASK.
“I’m not sure. He’s having treatment, but I could be doing some bluff and pretend he’s in trouble, but he’s not and I think he’ll play [against Arsenal].”
Despite Kane’s possible return, Erik Lamela is unlikely to be fit while Toby Alderweireld remains a doubt but is back in training following a groin problem.
“Lamela is an injury from three weeks, a month ago,” Mourinho said. “I don’t believe he has a chance for the weekend.
“Harry, Vinicius and Sergio [Reguilon], there is a chance for the weekend.”
Arsenal themselves have some injury concerns in the build-up to Sunday’s derby.
David Luiz picked up a head injury against Wolves last weekend, in a nasty collision that saw Raul Jimenez fracture his skull.
The club have posted that he has not suffered a concussion but the cut sustained kept him out of their Europa League win on Thursday.
Furthermore, Thomas Partey has not played since picking up a thigh injury on November 8 against Aston Villa.
He remains a doubt for the Spurs clash but Mikel Arteta announced the midfielder will return to training on Friday in a boost for the Gunners.
“Well, he’s putting a lot of pressure on us,” said Arteta after Arsenal beat Rapid Vienna.
“He’s training tomorrow with us and let’s see how it goes in the next couple of days.”
Pablo Mari is approaching full fitness having played 45 minutes for the club’s under-23s on Friday while Sead Kolasinac has been cleared to play after getting over COVID-19.
Nicolas Pepe will still be unavailable, though, due to suspension following a red card against Leeds.