‘Difficult’ - Mikel Arteta confirms Arsenal injury blows ahead of West Ham

Arsenal manager Mikel Aretata has been speaking to the press ahead of the West Ham game on Monday.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed he will be without two of his key players as he looks to go eight points clear of second placed Manchester City in the Premier League title challenge next week.

The Gunners will definitely be without Gabriel Jesus who is recovering well from his knee injury while concerns still remain over the fitness of Emile Smith Rowe.

There is pressure growing on  West Ham manager David Moyes to get the season going while Mikel Arteta is leading a surprising title challenge after his team missed out on Champions League football to Tottenham at the tail end of last campaign.

The Gunners had a mixed winter preseason break, beating AC Milan and Lyon to win the Dubai Cup, but they also lost to Juventus and Watford and were held to a draw by Championship side Luton.

Mikel Arteta knows Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola very well and knows that he can’t afford to take his foot off the peddle.

The Arsenal manager said on injury : “With Gabi it’s difficult to put a time frame. Knowing him I prefer not to give any dates. With Reiss he’s going to be out for a while I think (weeks). Emile is close. He had a setback but he’s close.

Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka the machines that binds the Arsenal team

The Gunners though have their midfield duo of Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka fit and will be in the starting team as they look to continue from where they left off before the break for the World Cup.

There are some who believe that the fact that both Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey did not go far at the World Cup will allow them to continue bossing games in the Premier League as they joined the winter preseason earlier than expected.