Arsenal’s Partey to train ahead of North London derby against Spurs

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Arsenal star Thomas Partey will return to training alongside his teammates ahead of the North London derby with Premier League leaders Tottenham, according to Mikel Arteta.

Partey has been sidelined with a thigh injury sustained in Arsenal’s loss to Aston Villa in early November.

The 27-year-old Ghanaian international had been training only as part of his recovery, but will now join the rest of the Arsenal squad.

Speaking after the Gunners’ 4-1 win over Rapid Vienna in the Europa League on Thursday, Arsenal manager Arteta suggested that Partey could play a role in Sunday’s showdown against Spurs.

“Well, he’s putting a lot of pressure on us,” Arteta said at a news conference.

“He’s training tomorrow [Friday] with us and see how it goes in the next few days. “

Arsenal managed five wins in as many Group B matches against Rapid as they were given respite from inconsistent displays in the Premier League.

It was only the second time the Gunners achieved the feat in Europe, having done so during the 2005-06 Champions League in which they reached the final.

Arteta also urged his players to show the same struggle they showed in the victory over Rapid in the clash with the high-flying Tottenham of José Mourinho.

“We have been very consistent in this competition. I think the guys showed great energy, character and aggression,” he explained.

“From the beginning you could feel that they were moved since the last defeat and everyone played a very good game individually.

“Again, we were in the last third really aggressive with the ball. We created a lot of scoring chances and we probably should have scored more.

“Now, let’s take that to Sunday, a very special game, we are all waiting for it and let’s do it again.”

Arteta made 11 changes for the game against Rapid from the team that lost 2-1 to Wolves in the Premier League last week, but hinted that several players have stepped into the frame to face Spurs.

He added: “I try to use different competitions to put two different teams together. It’s because we are also using them with the amount of injuries, suspensions and things that we had.

“You have seen that in the last games we have used some players on Thursday and they played at the weekend.

“The level of performance that they can give is very good and they can see tonight that some of them might deserve to start the game on Sunday.”

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