Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes were both absent from Arsenal’s Sunday training session photos – sparking fears the duo will not be fit to face Newcastle on Monday night. While the Gunners remain in control of their own destiny, Mikel Arteta’s side are feeling the pressure after Thursday’s devastating 3-0 defeat to top-four rivals Tottenham in the north London derby.
Antonio Conte’s side have since followed up the triumph with a 1-0 win over Burnley to move into court.
But Arsenal can leapfrog them once again with a victory on Tyneside, although Arteta is potentially facing another defensive headache.
White was an unused substitute at Tottenham after not being declared fit enough to feature before Gabriel limped off.
And both were not visible in pictures released from Arsenal’s final training session at London Colney ahead of the game.
READ MORE: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta responds to Antonio Conte over claim he ‘complains a lot’
“We want to extend this period as much as possible to understand how they are recovering, how they are feeling, assess them and tomorrow we will know more about how they are.
“We will have to modify certain positions to try to make it work because we don’t have more defenders.
“And even though we have academy defenders they haven’t experienced a lot those positions because they are not specified central defenders. It is something that we will try to find a way.”
Rob Holding is also suspended following his red card against Tottenham.
Takehiro Tomiyasu could potentially drop in at centre-back while Granit Xhaka has played in defence on occasions this season – although notably at left-back.
Arteta expects to see a reaction from his players, who are still just two wins away from Champions League football…
“The excitement that they’ve shown me every day,” he added. “The way they’ve come in today with the energy that they were with today to play the game and very willing to go there and perform at the highest level.”