Mikel Arteta has provided an injury update on Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Benfica on Thursday night.
We travel to Rome later this week to face Benfica in the first leg of our last-32 knockout tie but unfortunately Arteta feels it’s ‘unlikely’ either Partey or Tierney will be available for the game.
Of the two players, Arteta says Tierney has the best chance of being passed fit to face Benfica as the full-back is expected to resume full training this week as he looks to return from a niggling knee injury that’s hampered him in recent weeks.
The Scottish International has been forced to miss Arsenal’s last six games in all competitions but will be assessed over the coming days to see whether he stands a chance of being in contention for the trip to Italy.
However, it sounds like Partey is set to miss out once again on Thursday night as he continues to nurse a thigh injury that he picked up during the 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend.
Speaking after Arsenal’s 4-2 victory over Leeds on Sunday, Arteta told Arsenal.com:
on whether there’s a chance Thomas Partey or Kieran Tierney could be available this coming week… It seems unlikely at the moment. But probably if there is one player who has got a bigger chance, it’s Kieran, because probably in the next few days he can start to do some parts with the team. But I don’t know how it is going to evolve when he gets a little bit closer to training with the group.
It would be a huge boost if Tierney is available to face Benfica as he’s been sorely missed down the left flank. Cedric Soares has filled-in admirably but there’s no doubt Tierney’s return would strengthen the Arsenal team ahead of this important match.
Partey’s latest injury is a concern as he’s endured a tough time with injuries since joining from Atletico Madrid last summer. Arteta will be praying the Ghanaian international isn’t out for too long as Arsenal have a tough run coming up.
As well as facing Benfica over two legs, the Gunners also have huge Premier League games against Man City, Leicester City, Burnley and Tottenham over the coming weeks so Arteta will be desperate to have Partey and Tierney back as soon as possible.