Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a press conference.

Arsenal injury latest as Mikel Arteta calls for ‘more’ against Luton

Arsenal take on Luton Town on Wednesday night looking to return to the top of the Premier League, for 24 hours at least.

Mikel Arteta has been speaking ahead of the game, giving an injury update on the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli during his pre-match press conference on Tuesday at the Arsenal training centre.

Here is a selection of what Arteta had to say.

On Bukayo Saka’s fitness:

“He’s fine. We haven’t trained, just recovered. We’ll have a short session today to prepare for the game and we’ll see if he’s in the best condition to start or not.”

On whether this is a good opportunity to rest Saka with so many big games to come?

“We’re just thinking about Luton and to prepare in the best possible way to beat them and earn the right to beat them.”

On whether Martinelli is ready to start:

“He is because he was ready to play against a really tough opponent three days ago, so he certainly is today. Again, we will train today and see the state of every player and will make the right decision tomorrow.”

On when he knew the Saliba and Gabriel partnership would work:

“You just feel it, when you see the partnership and sometimes there is a chemistry between two players and they compliment each other, they are so happy to work with each other and it just flows. I think they really enjoy playing together and have been really, really good.”

On Jurrien Timber’s recovery:

“He’s doing very well. He’s back training. He’s not far off, the thing is that last step. He hasn’t played any minutes you know, so does he need a game with the U23s? Does he need two games? We are going to have to feel with him now how long it is going to take him. That last part which is tricky and sometimes it takes a while. But hopefully it’s as quick as possible.”

On how he rates Timber’s chances of playing this season?

“I think he’s got a good chance. I don’t know the percentage but he’s got a good chance and he’s going to push it as far as he possibly can.”

On how Arsenal will approach the Luton game so soon after Manchester City:

“We’re going to be needing even more. It’s after two and a half days. [Luton] are in a really good moment – when you see the games that they have played and even when they haven’t won, they’ve been really tough. We have had some extraordinary results against the other two teams that are, at the moment, leading the table. We are not top so that means that we have missed certain points somewhere else and that’s what we have to put the emphasis on now tomorrow. 

On how he’s feeling going into a crucial period of the season:
“I’m really excited. Obviously, the end is coming. Nine games is still a lot and I just embrace the moment, go game by game and make sure we are fully prepared for tomorrow to perform well.”

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