By Declan Taylor
Tomas Rosicky will NOT feature for the Reserves against Tottenham at Underhill tonight.
It was hoped that the Czech midfielder might make his return to meaningful action in the North London derby, after almost 15 months on the sidelines with a rare tendon injury.
However, despite recovering from his initial problem, Rosicky has picked up a slight groin strain.
“Tomas Rosicky, at the moment, is not close to coming back. We have to be very patient,” confirmed Arsène Wenger when he faced the media at the training ground on Thursday.
After various factors transpired to keep Arsenal and Spurs apart at second-string level this season, the pair will cross swords twice in five days.
This time, Neil Banfield has named no fewer than 11 of the FA Youth Cup squad that dispatched their near-neighbours 3-1 at White Hart Lane on March 5.
Mark Randall, Fran Merida and Amaury Bischoff will provide a typically youthful line-up with a pinch of first-team clout.
As the Youth Cup illustrated, North London derbies are contested in the same way at every level. Expect lashings of spice at Underhill.
Mark Randall (Capt)