Mikel Arteta opted not to give anything away on the team news front ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon despite suggestions a few members of the first team squad are unwell.
Earlier today, we reported that Kieran Tierney would miss the trip after sitting out this morning’s training session due to illness.
Furthermore, on arrival in Portugal, Gabriel Martinelli revealed that Fabio Vieira had also stayed in London due to sickness.
Gabriel Martinelli reveals Fabio Vieira has not travelled to Lisbon as he is ill.
— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) March 8, 2023
Given the Portugal international was filmed boarding this afternoon’s flight from Luton that seemed surprising news. Indeed, Arsenal quickly clarified that Vieira had made the trip but was suffering from a sore throat. It turns out Martinelli meant, he’d missed the press conference, not the flight.
It’s unclear whether strikers Leandro Trossard and Eddie Nketiah, who are nursing groin and ankle injuries respectively, have travelled. The same goes for Gabriel Jesus, who trained this morning, but hasn’t played for the Gunners since November.
When pressed for a fitness update, Arteta said: “News on the squad will be tomorrow. We have brought a few players and you will see who is available.
“Let’s see how they evolve. We’re trying to accommodate everybody and get them in the best position for tomorrow.”
He was then asked if there’s a risk of illness spreading through the camp. He said: “These things happen throughout the season. Sometimes happens four days before the match, sometimes the day before the match.
“We deal with that and tomorrow everybody will be in the best possible condition to compete.”
Make of that what you will.
Predicted starting lineup: Paracetamol; Covonia, Calpol, Benylin, Night Nurse; Lemsip, Chicken Soup, Ibuprofen; Olbas, Strepsils, Vicks VapoRub