Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has delivered injury updates on William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu after being without them for a win over Crystal Palace.
- Defenders picked up knocks vs Sporting
- Played no part against Crystal Palace
- International break to work on fitness
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners made light work of another London derby date, with a 4-1 victory lifting them eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table. Bukayo Saka – who bagged a brace – Gabriel Martinelli and Granit Xhaka got the goals for Arsenal, but their defensive unit was unable to keep a clean sheet after seeing Saliba and Tomiyasu pick up knocks in the first half of a Europa League last-16 encounter with Sporting on Thursday.
WHAT THEY SAID: Quizzed on how long the France and Japan international defenders could be sidelined for, Arteta told reporters: “We don’t know (how bad Tomiyasu’s injury is). The doctor is assessing. We have one assessment and I think they need to have another assessment tomorrow. It’s not looking good. Tomi is not one to exaggerate things. He was really concerned straight away and we are concerned. We hope Willy (Saliba) is going to be better news. Again we have to wait to tomorrow to get a better picture.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Rob Holding slotted in to Arsenal’s back four against Palace, as he partnered Gabriel Magalhaes at centre-half, while Thomas Partey saw the game out at right-back after the decision was taken to replace Ben White and take no risks with his fitness.
IN THREE PHOTOS:
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal do have the international break to work on getting those nursing knocks back to fitness, with Arteta’s side not due to be in action again until playing host to Leeds on April 1.
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