Arsenal could face “trouble” for Saturday’s north London derby against Tottenham in the Emirates, former shooter Mikael Silvestre has warned.
Mikel Arteta’s leaders go into the crucial game with injury problems, with question marks over Thomas Partey after picking up a minor knee problem.
The Gunners have beaten Crystal Palace, Leicester City, Bournemouth, Fulham, Aston Villa and Brentford so far this season but lost their only other game against Manchester United.
They face another big test when they host unbeaten Tottenham this weekend, with third-placed Antonio Conte able to overtake Arsenal with a win.
Silvestre has warned Arsenal could struggle without midfielder Partey, who the Gunners hope will return in time.
“He (Thomas Partey) is a big piece of the puzzle for Mikel Arteta,” Silvestre told bettingexpert.
“Arsenal shows that as soon as Xhaka or Partey gets injured, they are overwhelmed. They’re short on body so it could be a problem this season.
“Partey shows that he is good on the ball. He has the physicality needed in the middle section, he makes challenges.
“So if he’s not playing, that’s a problem for Arsenal.”
Silvestre doesn’t think Partey should be replaced by youngster Albert Sambi Lokonga for the north London derby.
“He (Albert Sambi Lokonga) is still learning and adapting to the Premier League,” added Silvestre.
“He shows a lot of focus and dedication. So he can step up and fill Partey’s boots, but still it’s asking a lot from a young player.
“When you play those kinds of games, the derbies, it can be repressive at times.
“But he was captain at Anderlecht. I think he knows how to deal with this situation even though he’s still a young player.”
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