Arsenal’s Arteta is cautious on Saka and Saliba’s fitness for Chelsea clash

Arsenal's Arteta

Manager Mikel Arteta provided a few hints on Friday as to whether or not injured players Bukayo Saka and William Saliba will be available to play against Chelsea in the Premier League this weekend.

Saka suffered an injury in the Champions League loss to Lens and did not go with England for their October games. Therefore, he missed Arsenal’s victory against champion Manchester City.

The withdrawals of defender Saliba (toe) and attacker Leandro Trossard (hamstring) have made Arsenal’s worries worse.

Arteta said at a news conference, “I’m sure Saka wants to play,” but he did not say whether or not the winger was available. He also said there were “not a lot” of team updates he could provide.

We haven’t had that many players thus far. Arteta remarked, “We’ll know more after today’s training session, which is our first.

The management expressed optimism that Saliba’s recurring toe ailment would not have permanent consequences.

“I certainly hope not,” Arteta replied. He’s been thinking about that for a while now. That was the finest opportunity to reach a compromise, and we had to take advantage of it.

To overcome Pep Guardiola’s City for the first time since 2015 in the league, Arsenal needed a late goal from substitute striker Gabriel Martinelli.

With the victory, Arsenal moved up to second place, tied with Tottenham Hotspur on 20 points, passing City for the first time in league history.

Since Arteta took over as Arsenal manager in December 2019, they are undefeated in all their Stamford Bridge games. A psychological lift from City’s win over Chelsea might help them continue their streak.

“It’s the last experience that we had and that feeling we had between us was a beautiful one,” added Arteta.

The game’s stakes and the intensity with which we played as a unit were palpable.

However, this is all pretend. The following game against Chelsea will be considerably more challenging, so maintaining consistency and playing to a high quality is crucial now.

“Chelsea has far exceeded my expectations. They need a lot more than what they have on the table. In such a short period, Mauricio has accomplished so much. Tomorrow, we’ll need to perform at our peak.

Chelsea are in last place, eleventh, with only 11 points after eight games.

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