Mikel Arteta has confirmed that David Luiz will miss tomorrow’s clash against Chelsea.
After weeks sidelined by a knee injury, the Brazilian suffered a hamstring injury on his comeback at Newcastle and a timeline for his return has been vague at best.
“The situation with David [Luiz] is that he is not yet recovered, we will see how he does in the next few weeks,” said Arteta on Tuesday.
Given the season only runs for a few more games, Luiz faces a race against time to play for the club before we make a final decision on whether to extend his contract for another year.
In terms of who else might be available at Stamford Bridge, it appears there are question marks over a number of players.
“The rest are still in contention but we will have to see today how they come,” said Arteta.
He added: “We have to see today, there were some issues over the weekend again. We are playing every three days and there is no time to train yet, today is the first day so we will have to wait and see. Yes [there were] some injuries, yes.”
One of those is thought to be Emile Smith Rowe who came off against West Brom with a suspected hamstring problem.
Arsenal can still qualify for the inaugural Europa Conference League but the situation is out of our hands. We’re currently ninth in the table and need to finish seventh. Realistically, we’re staring down the barrel of a first season without European football since 1996.
On what he wants from the final three games of the season, Arteta said: “I think it is the pride in the shirt that we wear, and that we want to win.
“Winning is going to put us in a much better position in the table, which is going to make us…the chance to finish where is mathematically possible, but it doesn’t depend on us at the moment.”
The Gunners face a stiff challenge tomorrow. Not only has Thomas Tuchel taken the Blues to the final of the FA Cup and Champions League, he’s also got his players focused on qualification for the Champions League. While the German is likely to rotate some of his squad ahead of the weekend’s trip to Wembley, he knows he can’t afford for a slip up in the league.
“Probably they’ve been the best team in the league in the last few months,” said Arteta.
“What Thomas has been able to do since he arrived has been exceptional.
“He put the team in two finals, the way the team is looking, how solid they are defensively as well, how composed and regular they have been in their performance has been excellent.”
Arsenal haven’t won in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge since we beat the Blues 5-3 in October 2011. We’ve lost six and drawn two since. On the plus side, we’re unbeaten in five Premier League away games, winning three and drawing twice.