Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta faced the press this afternoon to preview his side’s FA Cup third clash against Liverpool on Sunday.
The Gunners – who have suffered back to back defeats in the Premier League – have won each of their last three FA Cup meetings with the Merseysiders.
Here is a selection of what Arteta had to say to the media at London Colney.
On Oleksandr Zincehnko’s fitness:
“He’s progressing well. We have another training session tomorrow and we will evaluate if he is available or not to play and start the game. The rest [of the squad] there is no news.”
On why Thomas Partey didn’t go to AFCON:
“It was about common sense. He had a long term injury, he’s been trying to push his rehab. He really wanted to be with his national team, but obviously he’s still far from training with the team and it didn’t make a lot of sense to be involved.”
On when Partey could be back for Arsenal:
“Hopefully it’s weeks [not months]. When it’s going to determine how many weeks, a little bit depends on how the next step training with the team will take him. But he’s progressing well.”
On Jurrien Timber’s recovery:
“Unfortunately that’s a very long-term injury. He’s doing well but he’s still very far from being fit to train with the team, so we don’t expect him any time soon.”
On Arsenal signing a left-back in January:
“We are open for the transfer market, but the emphasis is on making the most of the players we have. We will work together with the club to understand whether there are any possibilities and we have any good options. But first of all, focus on the players that we have.”
On whether Arsenal might not do any business in the transfer market:
“That’s a possibility.”
On the FA Cup and winning it in 2020
“A real feeling. It was a great experience to win the first title the way we did it. There is a big history between this competition and our club and we have a big opportunity to start again and make a beautiful journey.”
On Salah missing out for Liverpool on Sunday because of AFCON
“Yeah, for both teams. We are missing very important players [as well]. We knew that, we have to adapt to that and still perform and win matches.”
On if the Emirates can replicate Anfield’s atmosphere
“It will be our own one. We are really happy with the atmosphere we have created at the Emirates. It’s been incredibly supportive. Can we tweak it and make it even more hostile? I think we can and that’s the next step in my opinion. We have to be so grateful for what we are achieving and creating at our home ground and I think Sunday will be a big one again.”
On whether Aaron Ramsdale will start against Liverpool:
“We will see on Sunday. I’m not going to give you the lineup right now.”