Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes training with Brazil

Gabriel injury scare highlights Arsenal gamble as Everton looms large

Not long to go now.

The international break is nearly behind us and soon we can all focus on the Premier League once again, not to mention the small matter of the Champions League getting underway of course.

There are still some international fixtures remaining and there are several Arsenal players in action for their national teams tonight.

It looks like Aaron Ramsdale will be starting for England against Scotland and you would imagine Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice will feature as well

Who knows, Gareth Southgate might even include Eddie Nketiah in his match day squad, rather than leaving him out altogether, as he did against Ukraine at the weekend.

Although it’s a friendly, you just know that England vs Scotland will be anything but that. It’s going to be one of those nights when you just sit there and cross your fingers every time any Scotland players go anywhere near Saka or Rice.

Arsenal’s Brazilian trio are also in action later against Peru.

Gabriel Magalhaes is expected to start again, despite the injury scare that forced him off deep into the second half against Bolivia a few days ago.

The sight of Gabriel sitting on the bench with ice strapped to his thigh certainly highlighted how thin Arsenal’s options are in defence right now.

Any sort of injury to a defender, especially to someone as important as Gabriel, is going to send a shiver down the spine of every Arsenal fan at the moment, given the prolonged absence of Jurrien Timber and the recent departures of Kieran Tierney and Rob Holding.

But that is the route Arsenal have opted to go down. They had plenty of time to bring in a replacement for Timber or to change their mind about letting Tierney or Holding go.

But they didn’t change their thinking and now they have what they have until January. It’s a risk, one that is highlighted by the fact Cedric Soares has been named in the Champions League squad.

I don’t think any of us expected to see Cedric play for Arsenal again, but now there is a very real possibility that Mikel Arteta might have to turn to him at some point over the next couple of months.

Anyway, for now all Arteta can hope for is that all of his players come through the next 24 hours unscathed and they all return to London Colney later in the week in good shape to face Everton on Sunday.

Goodison Park has been a miserable place for Arsenal in recent years and Arteta will want all of his big hitters available to try and ensure his side do not slip to yet another painful defeat on Merseyside.

I sat down with CBS Sports’ James Benge once again today to record another episode of Inside Arsenal extra-time.

Arsenal’s Everton hoodoo is just one of the topics of discussion in a show that also includes chat about dream striker targets, Nicolas Pepe’s departure and Arteta’s need to start rotating his squad over the coming weeks.

You can give it a listen below.