After going five games unbeaten and holding out for a 2-1 victory over Tottenham in Sunday’s North London Derby Mikel Arteta’s side return to action on Thursday evening in the UEFA Europa League last-16.
Arsenal go into the second leg of the tie with a 3-1 lead from the first-leg thanks to goals from Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Magalhaes and Mohamed Elneny and will be looking to seal progress to the quarter-final draw on Friday afternoon.
Despite the two goal lead and having scored three away goals Arteta refused to admit the contest was already won:
“Absolutely not,” he said when asked if the tie was over.
“From what I’ve seen from Olympiacos and the amount of games that they have won in the last minutes and the belief that they have in that team it will be tough and they will try to put us under pressure so still a lot to play,” Arteta added.
Fortunately for Arteta, he has only one injury worry ahead of the clash with the Greek champions, meaning he has the opportunity to rest and rotate his squad as he sees fit ahead of a return to Premier League action against fifth-placed West Ham on Sunday afternoon.
With that in mind, here is the very latest on the Gunners injury front.
Ahead of tonight’s encounter, boss Arteta issued an update on the fitness of star midfielder Bukayo Saka during his pre-match press conference.
The manager confirmed that Saka’s substitution against Spurs was not for tactical reasons but due to a hamstring complaint:
“It was an injury. We don’t know, he was feeling his hamstring,” Arteta said.
The manager further elaborated: “We were doing another test. He felt something muscular.
“He’s been doing much, much better and evolving really well so we will make the decision this afternoon on what we will do.”
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Other than Saka’s hamstring the Gunners are in excellent shape as they head into their European clash with Arteta saying:
“Everybody is more or less ok. We had a few doubts, but hopefully everybody is going to be involved in the squad,” he said.
“We look at all the minutes everybody has played,” he added. “It’s true that we have some players with significant loads, but our priority is to win these next two games.”