Arteta insists he won’t gamble with Tierney’s fitness

All eyes are on Arsenal’s upcoming semi-final clash with Villarreal today, but the manager Mikel Arteta may not be certain on his starting line-up as of yet.

Arteta has question marks over the fitness and availability of four key players, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, David Luiz and Kieran Tierney all having been absent against Everton on Friday.

The Spaniard has already admitted that all are in contention to play, but he later added that he is not ‘going to take a gamble’ on the Scottish defender’s fitness.

“{TIerney} didn’t need the surgery that we were afraid of at the beginning and then he’s been working like a beast every single day,” Arteta stated in his press-conference(via Arsenal.com). “I don’t know if he’s going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible to that football pitch to give himself the best possible chance.

“We do need them, because we know that we have some players that are in contention and they are the ones who can make the difference in a big tie like this. But the word risk, I don’t like to put players on the pitch if they can’t perform and they can’t feel secure that they can perform. If it’s a risk or we’re going to take a gamble, then I don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”

Any or all of the four would definitely boost our chances of qualifying for the final, but taking a risk today would also be detrimental to our hopes of enjoying the second-leg, which would be a disaster.

It is difficult to imagine which of the players could be the most important this evening, but I would personally prefer to see Aubameyang and Tierney both in the starting line-up, but something tells me that neither will make it.

If you could pick only one, which player do you believe could make the biggest difference tonight?

Patrick

Tags Kieran Tierney mikel arteta

6 Comments

  1. Declan says:

    Which player would make the biggest difference?
    Tesco!

    1. Dan kit says:

      Luiz

  2. NMC says:

    Either Auba or Laca, we have ok cover in the defence but I feel relying on Nketia is to much and Balagon hasn’t had a run in the team. Even if it is just to have another option upfront during the game Auba or Laca for me.

  3. Grantygooner says:

    Give Martinelli a go! His pace and un-predictability will trouble Villareal.

    1. ozziegunner says:

      Also Grandad, Pepe up front for the same reasons.

  4. ozziegunner says:

    Good news on Arteta not gambling with Tierney’s recovery and rehabilitation.

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