Arsenal v Chelsea: Arteta confirms Saliba will miss clash against ‘great manager’ Lampard

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Arsenal manager Arteta Credit: Alamy
Arsenal manager Arteta Credit: Alamy

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that William Saliba is “not going to be involved” against Chelsea on Tuesday evening.

Saliba has been out of action after suffering a back injury against Sporting in the Gunners’ Europa League last-16 clash on March 16.

The 22-year-old has been sorely missed with Rob Holding filling in.

Arsenal fans have watched their title hopes fade away without Saliba. Last week’s loss at Manchester City made it four without a win in the Premier League.

Arteta’s side have failed to keep a clean sheet – conceding 11 goals in their previous four games – with Holding partnering Gabriel Magalhaes.

The Spanish manager is currently preparing for Tuesday’s London derby against struggling Chelsea as the Gunners look to return to the top of the Premier League following City’s win at Fulham.

Asked about the availability of Saliba, Arteta told reporters on Monday morning: “He’s not going to be involved tomorrow. We will have to wait until the next game to see where we are.”

Despite Chelsea’s woeful run of form, Arteta insists that Frank Lampard is a “great manager” who will set the Blues up to win at The Emirates.

“They are going to try to come to the Emirates to beat us,” the Spaniard said. “They have a great manager.”

Arteta also insisted that his players did not need much motivation following the 4-1 defeat to reigning champions City.

“They didn’t need much,” he said.

“Our supporters, our players, our staff. It was a big night and we didn’t produce the performance that we wanted.

“I think it was a good reality check. You have to step to that level for 10 months.”

Arteta added: “We have achieved what was difficult to achieve and we can still achieve the Premier League.

“Now it is not in our hands, what is in our hands is to try and win the games.

“Win tomorrow, that is what we have to do.”

Arteta notes that he understands the criticism after his side fell to second in the league.

“We are Arsenal football club, we have to be here to win every single trophy,” he said.

“The demands have to be there.”

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