Arsenal team news: Arteta offers update on Tierney, Aubameyang & Ryan ahead of Villa
Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday lunchtime.
Ahead of the game, boss Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media on his pre-match press conference video call today and he’s provided a team news and injury update including the latest on the fitness of Kieran Tierney, Mat Ryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Tierney has missed Arsenal’s last three games due to a calf injury and it sounds like the Scottish international is set to miss out once again this weekend as Arteta says the club is trying to manage the full-back carefully so he can return as soon as possible.
Aubameyang made his first team return with a late cameo off the bench during the controversial 2-1 defeat at Wolves on Tuesday night after being released from quarantine. The striker isn’t fully match fit as he was unable to train for 10 days so it remains to be seen whether he’ll be deemed ready to start against Villa.
Ryan missed the Wolves game with a groin/hip problem and is going to need a late fitness test before his availability for the Villa game is determined. Arteta will be hoping Arsenal’s January signing is passed fit as Bernd Leno will miss the trip to Villa Park due to suspension after being sent off at Wolves. If Ryan is ruled out, then Alex Runarsson is set to start between the sticks.
Arteta told Arsenal.com:
on Mat Ryan’s fitness…
He has not been available to train yet, and Alex is available, so we will have the choice between the two of them for the weekend. If Mat is able to train, and they are both fit, we will have a decision to make. If Mat is not fit, obviously Alex will be in goal.
on Aubameyang being available…
Well he is available, he played a few minutes after 10 days of not doing much and hopefully in the next two days he feels good and he is available to contribute to the team.
on whether he’s having to manage Kieran Tierney carefully…
No, it’s a different injury in this case. Kieran is a player that really pushes himself and he has to be able to perform physically at his best because he cannot help himself. Even in training he can’t help himself. We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible, and we are here to support him as much as we can.
Arsenal could also be without David Luiz this weekend as they are awaiting the decision of their appeal after contesting the defenders controversial sending off against Wolves on Tuesday night.
The Gunners will be desperate to bounce back from that frustrating defeat as they currently sit 10th in the table but could climb up to seventh with a win over Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
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