Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has provided a fitness update on his squad, ahead of the club’s upcoming showdown with Chelsea.
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Arteta and co. are set to return to action on Wednesday night.
The Gunners will make the trip to Stamford Bridge, for a daunting Premier League derby meeting with in-form Chelsea.
Arsenal will head into the clash with little more than pride to play for, having long seen their hopes of securing a top-6 finish go out the window.
The north Londoners did return to winning ways at the weekend, courtesy of a 3-1 downing of West Brom, but, just days prior, saw their campaign essentially ended in a Europa League semi-final exit at the hands of Villarreal.
Capital rivals Chelsea, on the other hand, remain alive and kicking.
The Blues sit in the thick of the top-4 battle, and just last week sent tournament specialists Real Madrid packing to book their spot in the final of the Champions League.
As such, Arsenal look set to have their work very much cut out for them at Stamford Bridge in 48 hours’ time.
Mikel Arteta will therefore no doubt be hopeful of having as many of his key performers fit and ready for selection as possible on Wednesday night.
In turn, speaking after guiding the Gunners to a morale-boosting victory, it came as little surprise when the Spaniard was drawn on the wellbeing of his squad.
First up was Emile Smith Rowe, who was forced off versus West Brom with what appeared to be a hamstring issue:
‘I don’t know, he felt something in his hamstring so we took him off,’ Arteta explained.
‘Sometimes he cramps and that’s something that’s been happening for a while because he’s still adapting to the league, to the amount of games every three days. Hopefully it’s nothing major.’
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On the trio of Granit Xhaka, David Luiz and Pablo Mari, all of whom missed out on Sunday with respective fitness problems, Arteta added:
‘Let’s see how they recover. Again, we’ve lost so many players in recent weeks, so many big players. They have a huge effect on the team and it will be great because we have a very difficult game.’
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