Arsenal have fitness doubts over a number of players heading into Thursday’s crucial second leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie against Slavia Prague.
After scoring in the 3-0 win over Sheffield United yesterday, Gabriel Martinelli was substituted seven minutes from the end of the game with a suspected ankle injury. Manager Mikel Arteta did, though, play down the seriousness of the problem.
Bukayo Saka limped off after 69 minutes at Bramall Lane, with the 19-year-old having to be replaced by Willian. The England international suffered a thigh injury and he is likely to be touch and go for the trip to Prague.
There are similar concerns about Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe. Neither player featured against the Blades, with both having picked up ankle problems.
In terms of who is more likely to play on Thursday, Smith Rowe seems to be making more progress with his issue not believed to be as serious as Odegaard’s, although we will know more when manager Mikel Arteta conducts his pre-match press conference later this week.
After initially being ruled out for four to six weeks with a knee injury, Arteta revealed after the Sheffield United game that Kieran Tierney will now be out for the rest of the season. It is not known whether the left-back has suffered a setback or if his recovery will simply take longer than expected.
David Luiz had already undergone surgery on his own knee issue, and it remains to be seen whether he’ll feature in the remaining matches this campaign. The Brazilian’s return should be within “weeks” but how many have not been specified.
One player who will almost certainly be back in the squad for the Slavia Prague clash is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gunners captain missed yesterday’s match due to flu but he is likely to recover in the coming days.