Mikel Arteta confirms Thomas Partey fitness blow
The London heavyweights ended their 3-match losing run by beating Crystal Palace by a 5-0 scoreline on January 20. Despite the result, Arsenal remain 5 points behind Liverpool for the top spot in the league table and they need to keep on winning to try and close the deficit to the Merseyside giants.
The Gunners will be in action against Forest at City Ground in tomorrow’s encounter. Before the game, Arteta revealed that Declan Rice & Gabriel Magalhaes are doubtful after picking up knocks versus Palace. He added that Partey won’t be available despite his return to training after a thigh injury.
He said (via Arsenal.com): “Thomas is not in the squad, no. It’s what it is. You want everybody available and he’s a top player for us, really important player for us, but at the moment he’s not fit yet.
“He is one of the players [who’ll face late tests], yes [on Rice]. He’s done some work but has missed some work as well. Hopefully he’s going to be okay. That’s another one, yes (on Gabriel).”
Magalhaes was tremendous in the recent victory over Palace at the Emirates Stadium. He scored both goals in the opening half of the London derby. Rice was steady as usual from the heart of the midfield. The Englishman grabbed the assist for the first goal scored by Magalhaes from a corner.
Both players were substituted with evident knocks in the second half and Arsenal could be sweating over their fitness before the game at City Ground where they are winless in the last three games. Arteta has not ruled out either player for the clash and they could pass respective fitness tests.
Meanwhile, it is unsurprising that Partey has been ruled out in advance. The midfielder has not played a single minute for the Gunners since his injury blow in November and Arteta may not want to risk another injury by rushing him back to first-team action after just a few training sessions.
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