Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains a major doubt for their home Premier League clash with Manchester United on Saturday evening.
The forward has missed the last two games after revealing his mother is suffering from “health issues” and mystery surrounds whether he will be in contention for the game at the Emirates Stadium.
New signing Martin Odegaard is likely to be named on the bench and the Gunners should have Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe available after the pair limped out of the win over Southampton on Tuesday with minor knocks, while Dani Ceballos and Pablo Mari (both calf) and Kieran Tierney (fitness) could also feature.
Arsenal vs United might not be quite the same rivalry on the pitch as it used to be, but it certainly hasn’t lost any bite online.
Rival fans often clash over individual talents, with United fans amongst those mocking the £72 million which was spent on Nicolas Pepe back in 2019.
United certainly have some better bargain buys in their squad – along with plenty of academy talent, but fans will be hoping they have reason to mock Arsenal’s record-signing again today.
However, the game now has a slightly different spin on it after the Red Devils’ shock defeat to bottom side Sheffield United in midweek.
Speaking ahead of the game Mikel Arteta was insistent that this didn’t mean that Arsenal could afford to take their opposition any less seriously.
“We know that it’s going to be really difficult,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “They’ve been in top form.
Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta spoke highly of loan signing Martin Odegaard in Thursday’s press conference.
Arteta said: “He’s a player that we followed for some time and we believe that he’s got some special qualities that we need, that we have been missing.
“Now we have to give him a little bit of time. He hasn’t played that many minutes in Madrid but he’s been training hard and he looks so excited, as we are, to have another big talent at our club.”
On Aubameyang, he said: “I don’t know. I spoke with him yesterday and things are looking better at the moment but we’re going to have to wait and see.