Team news: Arteta provides update on Saka & Martinelli ahead of Olympiacos clash

By on March 17, 2021

bukayo saka arsenal

Arsenal will look to finish the job against Olympiacos on Thursday evening to book our place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Mikel Arteta has been speaking to the media at his press conference today ahead of the game and he’s provided an update on Bukayo Saka’s injury after he picked up a knock at the weekend.

Saka was substituted at half-time during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham in Sunday’s North London Derby after feeling his hamstring during the opening 45 minutes at the Emirates.

Thankfully, it doesn’t sound serious as Arteta says Saka is ‘doing much, much better’ and they will make a decision over his potential involvement against Olympiacos after he’s completed his fitness test this afternoon.

Arteta also offered some words on the situation surrounding Gabriel Martinelli. The Brazilian youngster hasn’t featured in any of Arsenal’s last nine matches in all competitions prompting questions from some fans about what’s going on behind the scenes.

However, Arteta insists Martinelli has done ‘everything perfect’ and has a terrific attitude, he just need’s to be patient and he’ll get his chance in the first team.

The boss is quoted by Football London as saying today:

Arteta on Saka
He was doing another test. He felt something muscular but he’s been much better and evolving well. We will make the decision this afternoon about what we will do.

Arteta on Martinelli
No if anything it’s my fault. He’s done everything perfect. His attitude cannot be any better. He needs to be a little bit patient. He will get his chance.

It’s a big relief to hear that Saka’s injury isn’t long-term but I would still rest him for the second leg on Thursday regardless of his fitness test results today. There’s no point risking him against Olympiacos.

The Martinelli situation is still odd as he was thrown straight in when he returned from injury in December but has now been frozen out over the past month. Let’s hope nothing is going on and Arteta just feels he’s still not 100% from his injury. I hope we start him on Thursday.