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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Saka worry for Arsenal ahead of Manchester City clash

Bukayo Saka will undergo further tests today on the injury that forced him to limp out of Arsenal’s defeat at Lens last night.

The Gunners were beaten 2-1 in northern France in their Champions League Group B encounter and had the added disappointment of seeing their England winger forced off after 34 minutes.

Saka is now a doubt for the crunch Premier League game with Manchester City on Sunday.

Arteta said: “It was a backheel, an action that can produce that kind of injury. He tried to backheel a ball in the first half and felt something muscular. He felt uncomfortable to carry on so we had to take him off.

“We don’t know anything more.

“It was big enough not to allow him to continue to play the game and that’s a worry for us.”

Saka has been a model of consistency for Arsenal, starting each of their last 87 league games, although he has failed to complete the last two due to various niggles.

Arteta insisted there was no risk in starting him in Lens and did not regret his decision.

“No. It was a knock that he had the other day and he was perfectly fine,” he said.

“He hasn’t really missed games. We gave him a break against Brentford [in the EFL Cup] last week and that was all.”

Saka’s pass enabled Gabriel Jesus to put Arsenal ahead after 14 minutes but goals from Adrien Thomasson and Elye Wahi proved enough for Lens to move to the top of the pool.

Arteta was impressed by the French side and felt his players would learn from the setback.

“They are a really good side, an exceptional opponent,” he told TNT Sports.

“On many occasions we attacked the space – but it was [decided] in the boxes. We missed some big chances and didn’t defend well enough for their goals.

“Mistakes happen in football but the difference was made in both boxes. You have to put the ball in the back of the net and defend well.

“It was a big night for us. We weren’t able to take the result we wanted but we were able to learn.”

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