Arsenal will be looking to register a second successive victory in all competitions when they travel to the King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on Sunday lunchtime.
The Gunners, who were beaten 1-0 by the Foxes at the Emirates Stadium back in October, progressed to the last-16 of the UEFA Europa League in dramatic circumstances on Thursday evening, defeating Benfica 3-2 in Athens, securing a 4-3 victory on aggregate.
Their reward for getting the better of Benfica is a Round of 16 showdown with Greek giants Olympiakos next month. Before that, though, the Gunners have got to try and get back on track in the Premier League, starting against Leicester.
The Gunners have lost three of their last four league outings, meaning their hopes of securing a spot in the Europa League for next season, should they not go all the way in Europe this term, are currently under threat.
With their league form currently making disappointing reading, it is probably not the ideal time to be facing a Leicester side, who were knocked out of the Europa League on Thursday night, that would go second in the table with a victory.
But in an attempt to ensure his players are in the best possible shape ahead of another away game, Mikel Arteta was putting his players through their final paces at London Colney on Saturday ahead of the trip up north.
But what did we learn from the session? Here are four things football.london spotted from a very bright and sunny London Colney.
After missing the victory over Benfica with a concussion injury, centre-back Rob Holding is back in contention for Arsenal’s trip to Leicester.
The defender was forced off in the latter stages of last Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City after being hit on the head, accidentally, by Joao Cancelo.
The collision, which forced the Gunners into making their concussion substitution, ruled him out of the Europa League triumph on Thursday evening.
However, the defender has now returned to training and is available for the trip to the King Power Stadium, handing Arteta a massive boost with tiredness and fatigue likely to be an issue so soon after such a lengthy away trip.
As you can see from the picture above, Holding trained on Saturday and is available for selection if called upon by Arteta.
What’s the joke?
Right now, Arteta must worship the ground that Saka walks on. Although it was Aubameyang who was the hero of Athens, scoring two of the Gunners’ three goals on Thursday evening, they would not have been possible without Saka.
The winger claimed the assists for both of the Gabon international’s goals, ensuring he earned just as much praise as the Gunners’ main marksman after the game.
In truth, Saka has been Arsenal’s shining light this season and he will be vital between now and the end of the campaign, as the club looks to try and finish as up as possible in the Premier League table.
On Saturday, the chemistry and bond between player and manager was there for all to see, as Arteta and Saka seemed to share some sort of joke before the former jokingly pushed the England international away.
Although this is only a small glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes, it is clear to everyone that the duo have a solid relationship which can only be healthy for both the club’s short-term and long-term future.
Tierney is the odd one out
In recent weeks, when it has come to Arsenal’s players being photographed during training, there has always been a case of Kieran Tierney looking a little different.
That is because the Scotland international, who scored the Gunners’ equalsier during Thursday night’s showdown with Benfica, has adopted a tendency to train in just his bare arms with no jumper or jacket being required.
Every member of Arsenal’s squad, who was pictured during Saturday’s session, was wearing a jumper, some even gloves, to try and keep themselves warm, even though temperatures in the UK have increased this week.
Not Tierney, though. He was once again pictured training in just his T-shirt and a pair of shorts, once again proving that he is not remotely fussed about the temperatures.
Today, though, he could have been forgiven for not wishing to wear a jumper, certainly once he’d gone through a demanding training session!
Pepe is all smiles
After staging such a dramatic European comeback, you could forgive everyone associated with the Gunners for being unable to stop smiling at this moment in time.
And it is safe to say that winger Nicolas Pepe is certainly still feeling a sense of happiness after Thursday’s heroics in Athens.
On Saturday, the Ivory Coast international, who did not even get off the bench in midweek, was spotted grinning from ear to ear with his arms held out wide, suggesting he was in a jubilant mood ahead of the trip to Leicester.
Whether or not he will be handed a return to the starting line-up against the Foxes remains to be seen, but something certainly captured his happiness in sunny conditions at London Colney.