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Arsenal team news: Arteta provides Granit Xhaka injury update

Mikel Arteta has provided a team news update ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Newcastle United including the latest on Granit Xhaka’s fitness.

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Arsenal will be looking to get back to winning ways when they take on Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday lunchtime. 

Ahead of the game, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference this morning and he’s provided a team news and injury update including the latest on the fitness of Granit Xhaka.

The Swiss international has been on the sidelines since suffering a serious knee ligament injury during Arsenal’s North London Derby win over Tottenham Hotspur back in late September.

Xhaka was initially ruled out for at least three months and was expected to return at some point in January but the midfielder has been making excellent progress in his rehabilitation in recent weeks.

Arteta confirmed today that Xhaka is now expected to be available ‘sooner than expected’ as he’s already ‘pushing himself’ in training so the Arsenal boss hopes to have the 29-year-old back before the new year.

No new injuries

The Spanish manager also confirmed the Gunners suffered no fresh injury concerns following last weekend’s disappointing defeat to Liverpool so it will be a similar squad to choose from against Newcastle.

Arteta told Arsenal.com:

on the latest team news…

No, no news. Everyone is fine so far.

on Granit Xhaka’s fitness…

Hopefully he will be a little bit sooner than expected, he is training and pushing himself and all the staff so hard like he always does. He is in a good place, he is evolving well and hopefully we can have him a little bit earlier. It is still a bit early to decide.

on whether it could be before the end of the year…

I hope so, yes.

Xhaka’s early return would be a big boost for Arsenal but the Swiss star will obviously still be on the sidelines for the visit of Newcastle United to the Emirates this weekend.

Arsenal head into the game sitting fifth in the Premier League table following last weekend’s defeat at Anfield so they’ll hope to close-in on the top four with a win over the Magpies in north London.

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