Mikel Arteta has been facing the media to preview Sunday’s crucial Premier League clash against champions Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners go into the game one point behind City, knowing victory will see them move above Pep Guardiola’s side ahead of the international break.
But Arsenal have lost each of their last 12 league games against City and have major injury doubts hanging over some key players ahead of this weekend’s meeting, including Bukayo Saka – who limped out of Tuesday night’s Champions League defeat at Lens.
Arteta was asked about several topics during his pre-match press conference, including the fitness of Saka. Here is a selection of what he had to say.
On whether Saka is fit
“He is in contention, let’s see how he progresses from here to Sunday. Let’s see how he recovers.”
On what exactly the issue is?
“I leave that for the doctors.”
On whether he has had a scan?
“In contention, that’s it. I’m not a doctor, that’s what they told me.”
On Thomas Partey’s fitness
“He is ahead of schedule that’s for sure. We wanted to have him in the squad [against Lens] if we needed to. The way the game panned out we didn’t use him. But he’s good.”
On Arsenal’s terrible record against City and not beating them in the league since 2015
“We are not looking that far. There were no players [still at Arsenal] participating in those games. We know one thing for certain, we have to be at our best.”
On whether it is a season defining?
“No, it will be a big boost obviously energy and confidence wise. Nothing else.”
On reports Ben White will be getting a new contract
“Really happy with Ben. He’s been a really consistent player for us and has developed in a great way, both at centre-back and full-back. He’s got the character of a fighter and I’m really happy to have him.”