Efficiency the key for Arsenal, says Wenger ahead of North London Derby

Efficiency the key for Arsenal, says Wenger ahead of North London Derby

Arsenal take on bitter rivals Tottenham this Saturday lunchtime in what promises to be one of the most pivotal North London Derby's in recent years.

Matthew Sheppard

As Derby day looms ever closer, Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side are certainly feeling the heat of just how important the latest edition with their neighbours is.

The Gunners are currently four points off Tottenham Hotspur, who sit in third place, and know that a win can cut the gap down to just a single point.

Though, with the fitness of Shkodran Mustafi, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck still very much unclear, Wenger had quite a few questions to answer during Thursday's press conference.

Efficiency the answer for Arsenal

Much has been said about this Arsenal teams character and resilience when it comes to the big games, and Wenger found himself defending his side once more.

"I remember many people asked me if Pires would be tough enough to play in the derby," said Wenger when speaking to the media.

"This is a guy who scored more goals than anybody in the derby.

"I believe that a football player has to be efficient and that counts the most. Efficiency if you’re a defender is not to make any mistakes and to win the ball.

"If you’re a striker, it’s to put the ball into the back of the net. Is that tough? It doesn’t matter too much - it’s how efficient you are in your game."

Will Mustafi, Giroud and Welbeck all be fit?

The next question on the agenda was the current injury situation at the club, as Wenger gave an update on the fitness of Shkodran Mustafi, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck ahead of Saturday's game.

"Mustafi will have a final check (on Friday), Welbeck as well," Wenger stated.

"I will make decisions on all of them (on Friday).

"Olivier picked up an injury, and I don’t think he will be available for Saturday. It is short term and he should start (training) on Monday, we will have to assess him then but I don’t think he will be available this weekend."

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Will Lacazette start and how do Arsenal stop Tottenham's main man?

A lot has been said about the start Alexandre Lacazette has made at the Emirates. The Frenchman has only completed ninety minutes once all season so far, and Wenger was asked again whether he would play from the beginning on Saturday?

"The decision is not made yet but it's a possibility as he's available," said Wenger.

If Arsenal manage to keep Harry Kane quiet this weekend, then there's every chance that the Gunners will grab the North London bragging rights. Though Wenger and co are not hatching up any particular plan to deal with Kane.

"We have no fear, we are just focused on nullifying their strong points and expressing our strong points," claimed Wenger.