Arsenal team news: Emery confirms Tierney ‘problem’ but key duo will play vs Liege

By on October 2, 2019

kieran tierney arsenal

Unai Emery has confirmed Kieran Tierney missed Arsenal’s draw with Manchester United due to a minor problem but will feature against Standard Liege on Thursday night.

Tierney made his debut for Arsenal during our Carabao Cup victory over Nottingham Forest last week and was expected to be in the squad for Monday’s clash with Man Utd but he failed to make the trip to Old Trafford.

Reports yesterday suggested the left-back had suffered a setback in his recovery from a groin injury that has plagued him since he arrived from Celtic on deadline day in the summer.

Emery has now confirmed that Tierney did have a ‘small problem’ which kept him out of the United game but says the defender is still fit to face Standard Liege in Arsenal’s Europa League group stage game tomorrow night.

The Gunners boss also revealed that Hector Bellerin will be involved against the Belgian outfit as he continues to build-up his match fitness after recovering from a knee ligament injury.

Bellerin played 15 minutes against Forest last week before coming through 90 minutes with the U23s at the weekend so he’s set to return to the senior squad against Liege tomorrow evening.

Emery told Arsenal.com today:

“Tierney still needs time and confidence, training and playing. Thursday is a good opportunity again, because he is ready to play. He will take minutes, he will take confidence and will be able with us to show also his progress.
“He didn’t play in Manchester because he had a small problem – not important – but the doctor told us that it’s better for him to be here, working alone and preparing for the match tomorrow.

“We are with him, taking precaution, it’s also important with the national team and we are thinking it is not the moment to work with them. For the next matches, I think he is going to be ready to play with us and to play with them.

“Hector Bellerin is the same, but with a small difference. Because he was injured for more time and after a long time, nine months, I think he needed to first play 15 minutes with us last week, perfect, the first minutes.

“He played with the under-23s for taking confidence and he was doing actions on the pitch to feel good and to repeat them when the level is higher. For example, for tomorrow, we are thinking that it depends on the training that we are going to do now on how he is feeling. But if he is feeling well, then normally, he is going to play.”

So all the talk of a Tierney setback had some element of truth but was over-exaggerated. Let’s hope he and Bellerin come through the game tomorrow unscathed and Arsenal get the three points.

I highly doubt either player will start against Bournemouth at the weekend after playing tomorrow, but both Tierney and Bellerin should be considered fully fit after the upcoming international break, which will be a huge boost.