Arsenal to make late Gabriel injury call as defensive options dwindle for Mikel Arteta
- Gabriel replaced by Holding against Chelsea
- Holding & Kiwior only other two fit centre-backs
- Saliba has missed Arsenal's last seven games
WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners defender was forced to limp off during the second half of Tuesday night’s win against Chelsea after appearing to hurt his ankle during a collision with Aaron Ramsdale.
And speaking ahead of this weekend’s game at St James’ Park, Mikel Arteta could not confirm that the Brazilian would be available.
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WHAT THEY SAID: “We will have to see tomorrow [after Arsenal’s final training session] how he is,” said the Gunners boss. “He could not finish the [Chelsea] game, so that was obviously a big sign for us. So we will have to see.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Arsenal will definitely still be without William Saliba at Newcastle, but Arteta still believes the Frenchman has a chance of featuring again before the end of the campaign.
“We are not there yet because we are always hopeful and players are always pushing to play,” the Spaniard, when asked if it was time to just admit defeat in the club’ attempts to get Saliba back fit. “If that’s the case, then we will announce that. But hopefully that won’t be the case.
“It’s about the healing process. Pain wise and the things he can do now off the pitch, I think he is in a good place. But obviously we have to build that capacity again to have the right impact, the right load and for him to be in a good position to train and play for the team.”
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal take on Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League.