After the game against Southampton, Mikel Arteta was asked about his two substitions after the 70th minute when he first took off Thomas Partey, and a few minutes later our new superstarlet Emile Smith-Rowe was also withdrawn, and the boss hinted that they may not be fit enough to face Man United this afternoon.
He said: “I don’t know, let’s see how they come today. They had some discomforts in different parts, Thomas and Emile, and we will have to see how they evolve. We still have some days until the game but not long so let’s see how they recover.”
But now Goal has spoken to a source at the club who has revealed that Partey has recovered from his problem and will be fit to be in the squad.
We would definitely want him to play the whole game to help us dominate the midfield, but given Partey’s two injury breaks already this season, Arteta may not risk him starting the game and may save him until a time comes if he’s needed, especially as fatigue is setting into the squad with the amount of games being crammed into such a small space of time.
But quite a lot of our first team got a break last Saturday, so hopefully they will be fit after 4 days recovery time since the beating of Southampton in the League on Tuesday.
We will probably need our very best team out to ensure we do the Double over Man United, so it will be interesting to see if Partey has passed the last minute fitness test, and is included in the team Arteta announces when the official confirmed line up comes out at 16.30 UK time today.
Fingers crossed he can choose a very strong team with Partey in the middle, especially if Smith-Rowe has not recovered. And maybe we may even see Odegaard…