Arsenal are back in action on Thursday night as they turn their attention back to the Europa League.
The Gunners are sitting pretty at the top of the Premier League, but they have plenty of work still to do if they want to progress to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Mikel Arteta’s men drew 2-2 with Sporting CP away from home last Thursday, and with no away goals at play, the two sides are exactly where they started as they prepare for the second leg at the Emirates Stadium.
Ahead of the clash, Arteta has been addressing injury concerns, and one player Arsenal will certainly be without is Eddie Nketiah.
“He’s getting better. He’s still in the boot so still a few weeks away,” Arteta said of the frontman. “We need to be patient - it was a nasty injury. It’s a challenge that Eddie’s got ahead of him, but thank God he could have been worse so he’s not in a bad place.”
The Gunners did get Gabriel Jesus back over the weekend, though, and the Brazilian remains available for this one. “It was great to see him back,” Arteta added. “You can feel the happiness of everybody around him: supporters, players, staff. We missed him and now we’re glad he’s back.”
Mohamed Elneny is Arsenal’s only other injury absentee, aside from Nketiah. There is also a question of Arteta resting players amid his side’s ongoing Premier League title race, but it seems that won’t be the case. The Arsenal boss said: “We’re looking to win. That was the same when we were in Lisbon, but we’re gonna have to do better than we did in Lisbon to win against Sporting tomorrow.”
As for Sporting CP, Morita and Sebastian Coates are both suspended for this one after reaching three yellow cards in this season’s Europa League. Manuel Ugarte has returned from suspension, though, and he will more than likely cover for the absent Morita.