Unai Emery says he’s hopeful that Laurent Koscielny will be available for Sunday’s game against Southampton after the skipper was taken off during last night’s 3-0 win over BATE Borisov.
The 33 year old sat on the bench with an ice pack strapped to his calf, but fears that it was recurrence of his Achilles problem were played down, not least because it was the other leg causing him a problem.
Speaking afterwards, the Arsenal boss said it was a precautionary change above all else.
“I think it’s precaution and we are going to wait for tomorrow,” he said.
“But, I hope he will be okay for Sunday and for the next week. It’s muscular, it’s not a break. But it was only precaution because he was starting to feel not good.
“I think it’s only a precaution because he didn’t feel good and with the possibility that maybe if he carried on in the match, it could break.”
The win puts the Gunners into the draw for the Round of 16, but Emery is under no illusions as to how hard it is to go the distance in this tournament.
“It is very, very difficult to win this competition,” he said.
‘I have won this competition a lot of times and, for example, the last three were Man Utd, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla playing against Liverpool three years ago.
“There are a lot of teams who cannot play in the Champions League, like us, and they are fighting to find a way in this competition and for one title against big, big teams.
“For us also, I think it’s a good test and a good challenge to carry on and to find our best performances.”