Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has given an update on his injured players and suggests they are ahead of schedule in their recoveries.
The Gunners welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium on Friday night in a must-win game if they’re to retain any hopes of making a late push for a European qualification place, however, Arteta is set to be without up to five key players for the game.
The club confirmed in their official team news update on Wednesday that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will miss tomorrow night’s game. The striker is still recovering from malaria but is hoping to resume light training over the coming days.
Alexandre Lacazette is also ruled out of the Everton clash after suffering a hamstring injury during Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Fulham last weekend. He will be assessed by the clubs medical team ahead of next week’s Europa League semi-final with Villarreal.
Kieran Tierney has been out since injuring his knee during Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool at the start of the month. The full-back was initially facing a race against time to play again this season but the Gunners confirmed yesterday that Tierney is now hoping to be back in training in just a couple of weeks.
David Luiz has also made good progress in his recovery from a knee injury that’s hampered him recently and the centre-back is set to be integrated back into training next week.
Arteta has now confirmed that some of his players are ‘a little bit ahead of schedule’ in their recoveries, but Martin Odegaard will require a late fitness test as he’s only just returned to training following an ankle problem.
Speaking at his press conference today, Arteta told Arsenal.com:
on the latest team news and five players being out… Yes it is unfortunately the situation we have at the moment. They are all doing really well to be fair, they are a little bit ahead of schedule. We don’t expect them for Everton I think, we have a doubt with Martin a little bit, let’s see how he is today in training. The rest will be out and get them back in the team as quick as possible.
Arteta will be pleased that the likes of Tierney and Luiz are closing-in on a return to action but he’s got an issue up front tomorrow with both Aubameyang and Lacazette ruled out against Everton.
Eddie Nketiah could be called-up to start in attack for Arsenal, and the Gunners will also hope Odegaard passes his late test as he was in fine form before picking up his injury during the March international break.