Arteta apologises to Arsenal fans after defeat at Brentford
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will oversee his side’s Premier League clash with Chelsea today. The Gunners go into the match looking to bounce back after their chastening 2-0 defeat to Brentford last time out. So Express Sport will now take a look at four players troubling the Spaniard ahead of the match at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal were without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the match against Brentford, with the former Borussia Dortmund star sidelined with COVID-19.
And though he’s available, Arteta now has a decision to make.
Arsenal will need every player fully at the races as they look to register a first Premier League win of the campaign.
And if Aubameyang hasn’t fully recovered in terms of match fitness, it will be a risk to include him in the side.
That’s a shame, because Arteta knows Arsenal are significantly more threatening with the forward – rather than without him.
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Alexandre Lacazette also missed the match with Brentford because of coronavirus.
And, like with Aubameyang, the Gunners will have to think carefully about throwing the France international into the mix right away.
What doesn’t help, either, is that the former Lyon star is being linked with a departure from the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal won’t want Lacazette to be distracted as they look to put Chelsea to the sword.
So he’s another player Arteta is having to think over.
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If Arsenal aren’t convinced over Aubameyang and Lacazette’s fitness, then that may see Gabriel Martinelli start the contest.
However, that represents another gamble.
The Brazil international has been plagued by injuries over the past year, meaning he’s still battling to regain full fitness.
And what hasn’t helped is his involvement at the Tokyo Olympics, with Martinelli already having a busy summer.
That’s hardly ideal for a player who represents their future and Arsenal have to be mindful of playing him too much, too soon.
Arsenal saw Pablo Mari have a major disaster during their 2-0 defeat to Brentford.
And with Rob Holding nearing full fitness, the former Bolton star is giving Arteta another headache.
Arsenal can’t afford for Mari to have another nightmare afternoon against Chelsea, especially given how he toiled last time out.
So even if Holding’s half fit, he could be worth playing from the start.
If not, then Arsenal will have to hope Mari has a blinder in trying to keep Romelu Lukaku quiet.
Arteta praises Chelsea
Arsenal boss Arteta has hailed Chelsea ahead of the match at the Emirates.
“Well, from Chelsea I expect what they’ve done over the last few years,” he said.
“They’re a top team full of world class players, with a great manager and they are the Champions of Europe.
“We expect a really competitive match. It’s what I expect about our team.
“Our fans they’re going to be supporting the team right from the beginning because they’ve been missed so much. We’re going to go there to win a football match.”
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