Arsenal return to Europa League action this evening with a crucial clash against Villarreal in the first leg of the semi-final, and Mikel Arteta has been handed a couple of injury boosts
Arsenal are back in action this evening when they take on Villarreal in the first-leg of their Europa League semi-final.
The Gunners have had a difficult week off the pitch over The Super League debacle, which has caused mass frustration from supporters.
Things didn’t improve on the pitch for Mikel Arteta and his men with a 1-0 defeat against Everton on Friday night as Bernd Leno somehow managed to spill a cross into his own net.
Alexandre Lacazette was ruled out for the visit of Carlo Ancelotti’s side, with the club saying “he will continue to work with the medical team and will be assessed ahead of next week’s matches.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also missed out having battled malaria, while Kieran Tierney and David Luiz were absent, both with knee injuries.
However, things have taken a turn to the positive for the Gunners, with Arteta confirming that all players were available and looking to start the match.
“They are all in contention,” Arteta told reporters. “All of them. Including Aubameyang, Laca and Kieran. They are all in contention for the game. Yes [it is good news].
“We do need them, because we know that we have some players that are in contention and they are the ones who can make the difference in a big tie like this.
“But the word risk, I don’t like to put players on the pitch if they can’t perform and they can’t feel secure that they can perform. If it’s a risk or we’re going to take a gamble, then I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.
“[Tierney] didn’t need the surgery that we were afraid of at the beginning and then he’s been working like a beast every single day. I don’t know if he’s going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible to that football pitch to give himself the best possible chance.
Full Arsenal squad available to face Villarreal:
Goalkeepers – Bernd Leno, Runar Runarsson, Mat Ryan, Karl Hein.
Defenders – Hector Bellerin, Rob Holding, David Luiz, Calum Chambers, Gabriel Magalhaes, Cedric Soares, Pablo Mari, Kieran Tierney, Joel Lopez.
Midfielders – Mohamed Elneny, Emile Smith Rowe, Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey, Martin Odegaard (doubt), Dani Ceballos, Ben Cottrell, Miguel Azeez.
Forwards – Bukayo Saka, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah, Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Willian, Folarin Balogun.
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