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Arsenal team news: Arteta provides update on Saka & Smith Rowe ahead of Liverpool

By on April 1, 2021

Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has provided an update on the fitness of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe ahead of Arsenal’s huge clash with Liverpool at the weekend.

We get back to Premier League action following the international break when Liverpool head to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday night but it remains to be seen whether our two young guns will be available.

Saka aggravated a thigh injury during Arsenal’s 3-3 draw with West Ham earlier this month. He was therefore forced to withdraw from the England squad ahead of their World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.

Arteta has confirmed the 19-year-old is ‘feeling better’ but is still unable to take part in full training with the rest of the squad and has been restricted to individual work during the interlull.

Smith Rowe was also pulled out of the England U21’s final game at the European Championship after picking up a hip issue. Arteta says the club doctors will assess the attacking midfielder today before making a decision over his involvement in training.

Speaking to the media at his press conference this morning, Arteta told Arsenal.com:

“Bukayo hasn’t trained with the team yet,” Arteta said. “He’s been doing some individual work.

“We had to pull him out of the England squad, unfortunately. He’s feeling better, but he hasn’t trained with the team yet.

“Emile has some discomfort in his hip and that’s why they decided to keep him out.

“We will see today how he comes here, we will speak with the doctors and the physios and see if he is available for training tomorrow.”

It sounds like Saka remains a major doubt to face Liverpool and his absence would be a huge blow for Arsenal as he’s been arguably our best attacking player this season.

Smith Rowe appears more likely to make the game on Saturday night so Arteta should still have plenty of options in the final third – especially as Willian is expected to have recovered from a calf problem.

We welcome Liverpool to north London sitting ninth in the Premier League table but a win would put us just one point behind Jurgen Klopp’s side – who are seventh – so this is a massive game for the clubs chasing Europa League qualification.

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