Mikel Arteta says he’s not sure if Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will return for Saturday’s Premier League clash with Man Utd.

The skipper has missed the last two games because of a family issue – something he expanded upon himself via his social media channels – but it remains unclear exactly when he’ll be back in action.

Speaking the press this morning, Arteta responded to questions about his availability for Saturday’s game, saying “I don’t know.

“I spoke with him yesterday, things are looking better at the moment, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Arteta wouldn’t be drawn on a question about whether or not Aubameyang has had to travel abroad to support his family, so we’ll have to wait and see whether or not there might be further issues or delays due to quarantine regulations.

The manager was also pleased at the support showed to the captain from his teammates after the 3-1 win over Southampton on Tuesday evening.

“That’s what we always talk about and what we expect to do for each other,” said the Spaniard.

“When someone is under any difficulties, we all stand for him, protect him, give him our love and be right behind him, because that’s what’s needed.”

As for who else will be available for the weekend, Dani Ceballos, Pablo Mari and Martin Odegaard will be joining in with first team training ahead of the United game, while Kieran Tierney remains under assessment.

Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe were both substituted on Tuesday, but as yet there’s no definitive word as to their involvement.

“Let’s see how they go today,” said Arteta. “They have some discomfort, we’ll have to wait and see but we have some days before the game.”

Fingers crossed for both of them.

guest
33 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brad

Well he’s supposed to be back here.
Depends if he has to isolate.
Will he be 100% up for playing yet.
I think he could well miss the Man U game (hopefully not)

Daveo

If he can’t go, despite Pepe’s good game, I think Martinelli’s workrate, pressing and all round effort is better suited to start at LW against Manure.

Leno
Cedric-Holding-Gabriel[Luiz]-Tierney
Partey-Elneny
Saka-ESR-Martinelli
Laca

Hard to drop Xhaka, but the Mo’-Partey combo was SO effective against Manure last time. And I think Cedric deserves to start and can help us counter against Manure (who are susceptible against pace). If Tierney can’t go then Hector RB and Cedric obviously LB. I’d like to see Gabriel back, but I’m sure he’ll pick Luiz (just can’t help when I watch him that an error is coming).

Man Manny

On current form, there is no way Elneny makes the team ahead of Xhaka.
The Xhaka/Partey combo was not bad at St. Mary’s.

If it’s because of what happened at Old Trafford, this game is at Emirates. It will be a different game altogether.
Mo was plain horrible in the FA cup game; he sits on the bench, for me.

Daveo

Xhaka-Partey was great against the Saints, and I mostly agree, but Manure midfield are on another level to Southampton. They press hard, counter fast, that is tough for Xhaka. Mo-Partey combo were excellent against them and stymied their flow. We don’t have to simply run out the same players every game because they excelled in some fixtures. Tactical nuances are about putting out the best team to counter the opposition. Mobility against Manure is absolutely key. Sure Mo is limited, we all know that, but Partey ammends those limitations perfectly, and his strengths are mobility, workrate and pressing again key… Read more »

Glenn

Also Man U were pretty much at rock bottom when we played them, and have a poor record at OT this season.

Now they’ve been on a big upswing up until last night, and will want a reaction – and are also one of the most dangerous away sides.

goonshow

Couldn’t agree more – we were all impressed by how Mo lifted his game and dovetailed with Partey, but he’s not had another opportunity to pair up again. Sure he was iffy vs in the Cup but so were most of them – and if you’re holding that poor outing against him, how many Stinkers has Granit had?! Yes – Xhaka’s been good. But the point I’ve often made here is that better teams (and managers) know exactly how to fluster him – mentally and physically. Push him onto his right, rush him into back passing… Mentally, just generally get… Read more »

Daveo

He’s also played a lot of games in a row (again not great against a quality team that plays such a high tempo). Arteta may have played him in both Southampton games with the intent of resting him here to go back to Mo’-Partey that worked so well at slowing down United. Time will tell, and without doubt Partey is improving who ever he plays alongside. I agree that Mo’s average showing in the FA Cup means basically nothing here because him playing alongside Partey is a MASSIVE difference. Horses for courses. Mo seems like the best midfield partner IMO… Read more »

Man Manny

I think your argument rather than help Elneny’s cause, underscores why he should not start.
United’s midfield is better than Soton’s you say; I agree.
But Elneny was simply atrocious against them in the FA cup.
I don’t see how that makes him the better option.

Daveo

You’re ignoring the fact him and Xhaka just don’t work together. But Elneny and Partey (against United) showed they do. I agree Partey has helped Xhaka a lot too, but do you really want to see Xhaka chasing Fernandes running around between the lines, or chasing after counter attacks, or trying to keep Pogba out of the game? He doesn’t have the mobility for that. Mo does. For some reason you are caught up on Mo’s FA Cup game when he was part of an ill-fitting midfield combo (Xhaka was poor in that game too).

Man Manny

One game against a side you rightly said “was at rock bottom,” is too small a sample size to draw conclusions on a partnership.
On current form, I think Xhaka is playing better. He is also coming up with key passes and assists – something of a rarity with Mo.
Speaking of Xhaka immobility, have you observed that Laca’s and ESR’s willing to track back and cover spaces has reduced the chances of the likes of Pogba and Hernandes running at Xhaka?
I think his pros outweigh his cons.
I can’t say that about Mo at the moment.

David C

Leno
Bellerin Holding Luiz Tierney
Partey Xhaka
Saka ESR Pepe
Laca

Of course this assumes all are fit.

Gabriel, hasn’t played as much lately so I would save him for an easier game. Martinelli can come on as a super sub later on.

A Different George

This is Southampton with Tierney instead of Cedric, and I’m pretty sure that will be the 11. If Auba is able, he goes instead of Pepe; I think Saka stays where he is. If Partey cannot play, it will have to be Elneny.

Daveo

If Partey can’t play our only hope is to park the bus in midfield and play long balls on the counter. Manure’s midfield would crush a Xhaka-Elneny combo. For everything Partey does to complement both Xhaka or Elneny when he partners them, Xhaka-Elneny basically make life more difficult for the other. They are just an ill-suited combination. I’d rather see Elneny-Ceballos or Xhaka-Ceballos. Let’s just hope like hell Partey is fit.

C.B.

Hope Partey and Tierney and ESR can play. All v important for us.

Auba would be great too, but hope he gets sorted first.

mjc1892

Praying that Arteta is playing the Pep mind games. Seems like every time we play City one of their big players is supposedly injured but miraculously recovers, often Aguero, and he often scores..
If Partey, KT, and ESR all start, I fancy a win by a couple of goals. United to me look just like we did in the infamous 22 game run under Emery, and I imagine the wheels will fall off soon.

JeremyDG

Agreed, however turn up with a midfield of Willian, Elneny and Xhaka we might as well give them the game, regardless of how much united flatter to deceive.

Rich

Willian + Elneny both played in our win at Old Trafford. If Smith-Rowe isn’t fit, and Odegaard not ready We could just flood the midfield, get Elneny to do a job on Fernandes Have him flanked either side by Partey + Xhaka ………….Leno ……Holding Gabriel Bellerin Elneny Soares …….Partey Xhaka ….Saka……….Pepe … …..Lacazette Gabriel played well at Old Trafford, United are a counter attacking team, I’d be happy for us to sit in, let United have the ball, and sh*t house our way to another 1-0 victory, using the pace of Pepe + Saka coming inside against the lumbering Maguire… Read more »

Daveo

It’s an interesting take and not a bad shout if ESR isn’t fit. It’s definitely unexpected and that is always a good thing to throw off oppositions planning, so long as they are well verse in the strategy, give it a good run in training, and ready to execute on game day. Nice outside the box thinking!

Daveo

Although, I’d still put Martinelli in ahead of Pepe as his pressing, pace and workrate could cause the Manure backline heart palpitations.

goonshow

They already have mate – last night.

JeremyDG

It’s really this simple. If Tierney, Smith Rowe and Partey are all fit to start we will have a great chance of winning. If they aren’t, we probably won’t. Auba would be nice to have available, but we have quality options there already.

Biggles

Given Utd’s huge slip against Sheffield Utd, they’ll probably be particularly fired up for the game and they have a very good away record of course. We’ll need to be on form all over the pitch. It’s a shame if Auba isn’t available but Laca is doing a good job when given a chance. The bottom line is that the “top” teams, and teams like us who aspire to be a top team, just get on with it frankly, with whoever is available. We still have a large (and very well paid) squad so I think/hope we all expect them… Read more »

Russ

Totally agree with them being fired up but hopefully with the Man Utd of these days, this will be the start of their decline and we’ll batter them on Saturday…

Fingers crossed anyway

Biggles

Hopefully, but I suspect that they’ll hit us with everything they have. That’s not to say I don’t think we have a realistic chance of getting three points. I think we can beat them and carry on our recent run of good form in the PL (which is, and has to be, the primary objective, EL not withstanding) but any under-par performances will be punished by them so we don’t want – and can’t afford – any passengers!

Russ

Its just bonkers how anyone can beat anyone this season. I thought to myself last night, shall I just put a tenner on us winning the league?? ha!

It’s got to be down to having no fans in the stadiums I reckon. Some teams really benefitting from it I’d say?

A Different George

Sadly, the team that benefits most, I think, are Spurs. The kind of mind-numbing we-don’t-want-the-ball, wait for the opponent’s mistake, football that is Mourinho’s hallmark, is very difficult to sustain at home when the crowd demands an attack. (You can do it at Burnley or Stoke, where staying up is the main object, but not at self-defining big teams, like Newcastle or Spurs.)

goonshow

Much will depend on which Pogba gets off their team bus… he needs to lose the form he’s recently found.

goonshow

I feel Laca is actually ideal for Manure – their back line can be suspect under pressure and that’s exactly what Laca does better than most. If his fellow Dura-bunnies, EST and Martinelli are in the side – it could be fun to watch!

Alex

Why is it that when it’s us – we want to go into a game like this with momentum. But when it’s the opposition, there appears to be an advantage having lost the previous game?

Iyke

Arteta need to active players than mind games,
Lacazette is the best active attacking player Arsenal have at moment, this game doesn’t need any sleeping player,
Arsenal need to be fully aware of MU long passes from Fernandes and some of their air crosses, as possible keeping closed,
Xhaka / Thomas will be fine
Based on who is fit enough to play because we need to win.

A Gorilla

Hope he can play but if not, these guys are all in great form: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Tierney, Cedric, Partey, Xhaka, Saka, Laca, ESR all in top form with others pushing them too.
Finally we’ve got a platform. Well done Mikel Arteta

Santori

Big game for us this Sat. We need to win. Too many people prattling on about how we are in 8th and close to CL spot foolishly neglect the fact that in reality our position is more like 10th considering 2 of the teams around us have 3 matches in hand. The tight pack of teams around us as well does not make it easy. If we should shed points again this weekend, it is a tough ask upwards. I don’t think Odegaard will be ready for this weekend considering he has not played much this season. but he is… Read more »

YaGunnersYa

Get well soon, Mrs Aubameyang