Arteta delivers positive injury news ahead of Manchester City clash

It is the eve of our biggest game of the season.

Plan for today is paint the fence that I was too hungover to do yesterday and sand the driveway. I already have a simnel cake in the oven for my afternoon tea!

During yesterday’s press conference, Mikel Arteta gave an update on the injury situation ahead of the game against Manchester City.

When talking about Bukayo Saka and the two Gabi’s, he kept his cards very close to his chest, saying “There is a chance. They haven’t trained but tomorrow we have another session so there is a chance that they can be available.”

We have seen this tactic before from Arteta. It is a tactic right out of a top managers playback, being cagey on injuries to keep the opponent guessing. I would not be surprised to see 2 out of 3 start (I think Martinelli will come off the bench).

The other Arsenal injury news is surrounding Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey. The fact that Arteta did not provide an update on either would indicate both are fit and ready to go.

It will be interesting to see if Partey gets the nod to start in midfield alongside Declan Rice.

When we signed Rice, the plan would always have been to play the pair together in tough away games. Games like Manchester City away.

Partey playing as the deepest of the pair, doing a job on Kevin de Bruyne, with Declan Rice further forward putting the pressure on Rodri.

Rice will almost certainly start further forward. It will just be whether Partey starts ahead of Jorginho. Personally, I would go for the Ghanaian.

Injury news from the other side is that Kyle Walker and John Stones are both out following the injuries picked up playing for England. For a team like Manchester City this should not be a huge problem.

They have invested heavily in defenders over the years and will still have around £300m worth of talent to pick from.

Expect them to go with Rico Lewis, Ruben Dias, Josko Gvardoil and Nathan Ake. That quartet cost them close to £200m. and one of them is an academy graduate!

Arteta also spoke about how he feels we are better equipped to face City this season compared to last. Victory in the home game is the proof.

Last season we last both games to Manchester City. The 12 point swing is why they won the title and we finished second. This season we have already beaten them, and taken 4 from 6 against Liverpool.

Victory tomorrow will be huge and might have me believing that we can win the title. Until then, it is fence painting, driveway sanding, and getting an early night!

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