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HomeFootball"There is a chance": hope for Saka's appearance in top match

“There is a chance”: hope for Saka’s appearance in top match

After the defeat at Lens, Mikel Arteta did not know if Bukayo Saka would be able to play against Manchester City due to his muscular problems. On Friday the coach expressed cautious optimism.

On Tuesday, Arsenal conceded their first competitive defeat of the season. But the 2-1 loss at Lens took a back seat due to Bukayo Saka’s early substitution through injury – he had limped into the dressing room in the 34th minute due to muscular problems.

So Mikel Arteta had to answer questions about the 22-year-old at the subsequent press conference before he went into the sporting side of things. But the Spaniard didn’t know much himself: when asked about his chance of playing in the top match against Manchester City, he had replied, “I don’t know”.

The Gunners coach, on the other hand, sounded a little more optimistic on Friday. “There is a chance. We will see how he develops from here to Sunday,” Arteta said. Should Saka feature at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday (5.30pm), the reliable outfielder would also continue a personal streak: The Englishman has not missed any of the past 87 Premier League games.

Saka’s call-up to the national team for the coming international season should also give the Londoners’ supporters some hope that the homegrown player will be called up. This is because Gareth Southgate only called up the left-footer after several conversations with Arteta, who informed him of the player’s situation.

Thomas is part of the squad in the league for the first time since matchday 3

So while there is still a question mark behind Saka’s call-up, Thomas will be part of the squad after overcoming a groin injury, as he was in Lens – but the Ghanaian was not substituted. “He’s ahead of schedule, that’s for sure. We wanted him in the squad when we needed him,” the Arsenal coach looked back on the midfielder’s return to the line-up.

Whether he now makes his comeback against the leaders will depend on the score: If the Skyblues are leading, he will probably have to be patient. But if the reigning runners-up are ahead against the champions, or Arteta is happy with a draw, the brawling six-pointer is likely to come on as a wild card.

Since 2015, Arsenal have not won a league game against City

Then, among other things, he could help the Gunners get their first league win over the Citizens since December 2015 – although Arsenal won the last meeting between the two teams.

The Londoners defeated Manchester in the Community Shield. “It gives us confidence and belief that we can beat them,” Arteta said. His side will also need that belief to avoid their first league defeat of the season.



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