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Arteta on Martinelli’s fitness ahead of Spurs game



Mikel Arteta admits that it will be touch-and-go if Gabriel Martinelli will play a part in Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur, but Thomas Partey is not ready to feature.

The Brazilian attacker was forced off in the first half against Everton last week after feeling an issue with his hamstring, which caused him to miss out on Wednesday’s Champions League victory over PSV Eindhoven.

With the hours ticking down to derby day, our medical staff will be doing everything they can to try and get Gabi available for the meeting of two of the division’s unbeaten sides, and Mikel admits he hasn’t ruled him out of his plans just yet.

However, that is something he has been forced to do with Thomas, who has been out of action since the Manchester United match before the international break with a groin issue.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the boss said: “With Gabi we are still assessing him, so let’s see if he can make the game or not. Thomas [Parety] for sure is out.

“The rest we hope are available, yes we still have two training sessions, but there were no big issues in midweek.”

When it comes to selecting a team for our biggest game of the season so far, Mikel knows that given the quality at his disposal, there will be disappointed players who aren’t named in the starting XI when Spurs come to Emirates Stadium.

He says that is the most difficult part of his job, but given the demands of the fixture schedule and the longer period of injury-time this season, he believes that everyone will get ample opportunities to make an impact, whether they start the game or not.

“When you have to announce the line-up, it’s one of the hardest things, because players feel happy and valued when they play,” he said. “When they don’t it’s very difficult. You want them to feel loved and trusted, and the way to do that is to play them, but everybody understands it’s a team sport.

“It’s always 11 players starting, but we have seen as well how important the finishers are, and how important everybody is going to be in the season, and not look back on the team who have played the first six or seven games of the season. “

Copyright 2024 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

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