Saturday, September 30, 2023

Arsenal get triple injury boost but Mikel Arteta left facing crucial decision

Arsenal have been handed some positive news on the injury front ahead of their trip to Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.

The Gunners are one of just two sides in the top flight that remain unbeaten in all competitions. Six of their fixtures so far have come in the league, four of which have ended in victory with two draws against Fulham and Tottenham respectively. And yet, there are lingering concerns over Arsenal’s start to the season.


Mikel Arteta’s men are yet to truly click in terms of their attack and are yet to replicate the sort of free-flowing football that they played during the opening exchanges of last term. With that sense of unease flowing among sections of the Gunners faithful, news of injuries to key playes only heightened the tension before the clash at the Vitality.


All six of Bukayo Saka, William Saliba, Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli, Fabio Vieira and Declan Rice were touch and go as to whether they would be deemed fit enough to play. However, the trio of Saka, Saliba and Rice have travelled with the rest of the squad after being seen signing autographs for fans outside the team hotel.


Inside Arsenal’s injury crisis: Six players out, reasons behind it and William Saliba fears

While the sight of the three first-team regulars would have undoubtedly warmed the hearts of those of an Arsenal persuasion, it still remains unclear as to whether all three will actually play. The Gunners have some big games on the horizon.


Given there’s a strong chance that none of Saka, Rice or Saliba are currently operating at 100 per-cent in terms of their fitness levels, it could be viewed as a risk to play them. That risk grows bigger when factoring in how Arsenal have a Champions League tie and a potential title showdown within the next eight days.



Tuesday night sees the Gunners make the trip to Lens for mach day two of their Champions Leauge group stage campaign. Next Sunday, Arsenal welcome reigning champions Manchester City to the Emirates in a clash that could define the club’s season.


The idea of contesting either or both of those fixtures without the aforementioned trio is arguably a scarier thought for the Emirates faithful than tackling the Cherries without them. Arteta faced plenty of questions regarding who was and wasn’t on the treatment table during his pre-match media duties.



“They weren’t fit enough to be in the squad that’s it,” Arteta said of Saliba and Vieira, who missed Wednesday night’s win at Brentford. “My hope is that everybody is fit and available. We need them.”


Discussing Saka’s knock, the Spaniard added: “Hopefully it’s not something big, we are confident. He’s still uncomfortable, obviously he had to leave the pitch and that’s never a good sign for a player like him, but hopefully he will progress in the next few days. It’s a tough one.”

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