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regular-article-logo Thursday, 29 February 2024

Champions League: Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka could feature in Manchester City clash

Well he is in contention. Let’s see how he progresses from here to Sunday, says Mikel Arteta

Reuters London Published 07.10.23, 09:05 AM
Gabriel Jesus (front) and Jorginho train on Friday.

Gabriel Jesus (front) and Jorginho train on Friday. Twitter

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka is in contention to face Premier League leaders Manchester City, despite going off injured in the 2-1 loss at RC Lens in the Champions League this week, manager Mikel Arteta said on Friday.

Saka, who has played in each of Arsenal’s last 87 league games, a club record streak for consecutive matches in the competition, could still continue that run.

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“Well he is in contention. Let’s see how he progresses from here to Sunday,” Arteta told reporters.

“He had to leave the pitch, that’s never good news but let’s see how he recovers.”

Saka was named in England’s squad on Thursday for the friendly with Australia and Euro 2024 qualifier with Italy, and Arteta has been in contact with England manager Gareth Southgate.

“I have spoken to Gareth on several occasions. I have to do my job and give him the news,” Arteta said.

“He needs to make the best decision for the national team. I’m not going to get involved there.”

The Arsenal manager also gave an update on midfielder Thomas Partey who had missed the last six games with a groin injury but was on the bench for the defeat at Lens.

“Well, he’s ahead of schedule that’s for sure,” Arteta said.

Arsenal were City’s main rivals for the league title last season, but having topped the table for several months they were eventually overtaken by Pep Guardiola’s treble-winning side.

What ails United

Manchester United’s poor start to the season can be attributed to a lack of consistency throughout the 90 minutes in games with players’ concentration levels dropping at the wrong moments, manager Erik ten Hag said on Friday.

United have had their worst start to a league season to sit 10th after seven
games with three wins and four defeats.

They have also lost three of their last four home games at Old Trafford in all competitions, which include a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace last weekend and a 3-2 defeat by Galatasaray on Tuesday.

“Consistency, that is the problem we are struggling with. In parts of the games, in big parts, we do a lot of things right, but we have moments where we struggle and in such moments we can’t survive,” Ten Hag told reporters.

“We need to do the right things, be consistent and do it like before, so definitely you can mark such a moment like when we score or concede a goal. We have to step up.”

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