Arteta and Giroud added to late test list

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Arsene Wenger has revealed a whole host of players are facing late fitness tests ahead of tomorrow’s North London derby.

The boss indicated yesterday that Bacary Sagna, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Wojciech Szczesny would be put through their paces in training today, but he’s now added the likes of Mikel Arteta, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud to the list.

While the check on Cazorla may well be routine given his late return from international duty, it’s a slight worry that Arteta appears to have picked up a hip injury despite remaining at London Colney all week and Giroud is struggling with calf and hamstring problems. Without wanting to unduly panic anybody, it does appear that Marouane Chamakh is our only fit attacker. (Update – forgot about Podolski…)

Interestingly, there doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with Thomas Vermaelen despite the Belgian pulling out of his country’s squad this week.

Kieran Gibbs, Abou Diaby and Tomas Rosicky remain sidelined for a match which the boss believes can shape the season: “We’re a long way off the leaders so it’s important to come back,” he stated.

Asked by the press if Spurs were closing the gap Wenger also took the chance to have a cheeky dig at them down the road what live in our shadows by retorting: “I get this question every year.”

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