Mikel Arteta has provided a team news update ahead of Monday night’s FA Cup 5th round clash with Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Following the demoralising 2-1 defeat to Olympiacos in midweek, the manager has to ensure his team don’t let themselves wallow in misery, and looks likely to make changes for this fixture.
One of them might see January loan signing Pablo Mari make his debut having joined from Flamengo last month. He had a lot of fitness work to do as the Brazilian season ended last year, but now appears be to ready, along with Reiss Nelson, Rob Holding, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles who all played 45 minutes for the U23s on Friday night.
Asked if the Spaniard might start in the cup, Arteta said, “Yes, I think he needed minutes, like Rob did, like Ainsley and like Reiss as well.
“I think it was a good game for them to get their fitness levels tested as well and they trained today really well.
“They are all, I think, ready to play.”
There was also an update on Kieran Tierney who has been sidelined since November with a shoulder injury.
“He is much closer,” said Arteta. “He is evolving really well. He feels fit. He feels confident now.
“He’s doing the stuff with contact, so hopefully we can have him soon.”
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