Arsenal will be looking to come from behind and progress to the final of this season’s UEFA Europa League when they face Villarreal in the second-leg of their semi-final showdown at the Emirates Stadium this evening.
The Gunners, who got back to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, defeating Newcastle United 2-0 at St James’ Park thanks to goals from Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, are 2-1 down from last week’s first-leg, meaning they have a huge challenge ahead of them.
Goals inside the opening 30 minutes from Manu Trigueros and Raul Albiol fired the Spanish side into a two-goal lead, before Nicolas Pepe netted what could prove to be a crucial away goal from the penalty spot.
With that said, a 1-0 victory for Arsenal this evening would be enough to see them progress to the final in Gdansk later this month, but the Gunners will be aware that their home record of late has been far from convincing.
Fortunately, things appear to be positive on the injury front for Mikel Arteta, handing him a timely boost ahead of this evening’s game.
With that said, here is a round-up of all the very latest Arsenal injury news in one place.
After undergoing knee surgery at the beginning of April, centre-back Luiz made a welcome return to action on Sunday afternoon, starting the victory over Newcastle.
Luiz was installed into the centre of the Gunners’ defence, partnering fellow countryman Gabriel Magalhaes. However, his return to action was to last just 53 minutes as he was forced off with a hamstring injury in the opening stages of the second half.
Although hamstring injuries can often require a few weeks to recover from, Arteta has not ruled the former Chelsea man out of tonight’s contest, admitting that it is hard to predict with Luiz because his desire to always be available for selection is always there.
Asked if Luiz will feature this evening, Arteta, addressing the media on Wednesday morning, said: “With David it’s always possible because he wants to be available.
“He’s made an incredible effort to be in the position that he’s in today and the fact that he played against Newcastle was already a big bonus.
“He had surgery on his knee so with David, you never know.”
Just like Luiz, Scotland international Tierney has also spent time on the sidelines in recent weeks, likewise with a knee injury.
Although he did not require surgery, it has been enough to force him to miss the last seven matches in all competitions.
But after being spotted in team training on Tuesday, there is optimism within the Gunners camp that the former Celtic man could feature this evening. Although it is possible that he will make his eagerly anticipated return, Arteta has called for caution, refusing to give nothing away.
The Spaniard said: “We will see today. We are training this afternoon. We will see today how everybody is.”
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Just like Tierney, Lacazette featured in team training at London Colney on Tuesday, proving Arteta with hope and optimism that he will be available for selection this evening.
The striker has missed the last two matches thigh problem and will be itching to make a return if deemed fit enough for selection.
Just as Arteta said on Tierney, he will wait and see what the Frenchman’s condition is like before making a decision on whether or not he can make the cut.