Arteta delivers huge double injury blow ahead of Arsenal vs Newcastle: ‘It’s a very different game’

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Mikel-Arteta Credit: Alamy
Mikel-Arteta Credit: Alamy

Mikel Arteta has revealed that Arsenal could be without both William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes for their crucial clash against Newcastle on Sunday.

The Magpies are looking to solidify their spot in third in the Premier League table, while the Gunners are looking to keep up the pressure on Manchester City in the title race.

The absence of both Saliba and Gabriel will likely mean a centre-back pairing of Jakub Kiwior and Rob Holding, something that won’t inspire the Arsenal fans.

When asked for injury updates in his pre-match press conference, Arteta said: “We will have to see tomorrow how Gabriel is, but yeah he could not finish the game so that was a big sign for us. We’ll have to see how he is tomorrow.”

On Saliba, he added: “Not a lot of progress. He’s feeling better every day but he’s not been able still to have any activity around the first team so we don’t expect him to be with us.”

Arteta was then pressed on whether or not Saliba could be ruled out for the season.

“We are not there yet today, because we’re always hopeful and players are pushing to play. If that’s the case at some stage we’ll announce it. But hopefully that’s not the case.

“It’s about the healing process. Pain-wise and the things he can do now off the pitch he’s in a good place. But we have to build that capacity to have the right impact, the right load and to be in good condition to play for the team.

Finally, Arteta was questioned on whether Arsenal’s result against Newcastle at St. James’ Park last season, when they lost 2-0, and whether or not that will be on the player’s minds.

“It’s a very different game. Different players, different game. We’re gonna have to play better than last year that’s for sure because we know at home they’ve been really good.”

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