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Arsenal logo
Premier League | Gameweek 23
Feb 4, 2024 at 4.30pm UK
Emirates Stadium
Liverpool logo

3 - 1

Saka (14'), Martinelli (67'), Trossard (90+2')
White (31'), Magalhaes (57'), Kiwior (69'), Havertz (90+5'), Rice (90+4'), Saliba (90+1')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Magalhaes (45+3' og.)
Gomez (25'), Konate (55'), Nunez (90')
Konate (88')

Mikel Arteta provides positive Bukayo Saka update ahead of West Ham clash

Arteta provides positive Saka update ahead of West Ham clash
© Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident that Bukayo Saka will be available for the Gunners' Premier League London derby with West Ham United on Sunday.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is confident that Bukayo Saka will be available for Sunday's Premier League London derby with West Ham United.

The 22-year-old opened the scoring in last weekend's 3-1 beating of league leaders Liverpool but was withdrawn on the 79-minute mark after taking a blow to the ankle.

Saka was seen walking around the pitch at full time, though, and Arteta allayed any fears of a long-term injury to the Hale End graduate immediately after last Sunday's triumph.

Only Jordan Ayew (70) and Bruno Guimaraes (66) have drawn more fouls than Saka (46) in the current Premier League season, and the level of protection that the England international receives from referees has often been a hot-button topic.

However, addressing the media in his post-match press conference, Arteta confirmed that the signs were positive, saying: "He's been recovering this week and he looks OK."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the match on February 4, 2024© Reuters

While Saka should be passed fit to start at the London Stadium, question marks are still hanging over the heads of three key performers, including ex-Manchester City pair Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus.

Zinchenko only lasted until half time against the Reds due to an injury to his calf - an area which he has damaged a few times since arriving in North London - while Jesus missed out entirely with a new knee niggle.

Arteta revealed after the 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest on January 30 that Jesus had been managing pain in his knee following two surgeries, although he expressed hope that the Brazilian's latest issue would heal in a matter of days.

The Gunners are also expected to welcome Takehiro Tomiyasu - who could be a straight swap for Zinchenko - back from the Asian Cup after Japan were knocked out last weekend, but Arteta refused to confirm any of their availabilities.

"We have a few still in contention. They've been evolving really well, so tomorrow we'll have another training session. We're hopeful we're going to have a few back and that we can put out a very competitive squad out there," the Spaniard added.

Arsenal's Gabriel Jesus celebrates scoring their first goal on January 28, 2024© Reuters

Pressed for an update on Jesus, whose spot in attack could be filled by Kai Havertz or Leandro Trossard if he is not passed fit, Arteta remained tight-lipped, saying: "No update".

As well as their doubtful players, Arsenal are guaranteed to be without their three long-term absentees in Jurrien Timber (ACL), Thomas Partey (thigh) and Fabio Vieira (groin) for the trip to the London Stadium.

Partey - who has not played for the Gunners since October - briefly returned to team training in January before suffering a setback, and Arteta has still refused to put a date on the Ghanaian's possible comeback.

"He's progressing really well but it's a bit too soon to tell you exactly when we're going to have him back," said the 41-year-old, whose side enter the weekend two points behind Liverpool in third place in the Premier League table.

However, Arsenal have already lost to West Ham in the Premier League and EFL Cup this season, and they have only triumphed on two of their last six visits to the London Stadium.

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10Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton321111105250244
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