Arteta is sweating on Saka, Ødegaard’s injury in the Burnley game

  • November 11, 2023

Arsenal’s winger Bukayo Saka is doubtful for the Premier League match against Burnley, manager Mikel Arteta said at a press conference on Friday.

Saka limped off late in the 2-0 Champions League win over Sevilla and was named in the England squad on Thursday.

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Arteta said he did not want a repeat of his last call-up when he left the England camp having missed the Arsenal game before the international break.

“I hope not. We want our players to play for their team and for their national teams,” Arteta told the media.

“B (Saka) had to leave the field because he was in pain. He did not train yesterday and we will see if he can make it tomorrow.”

Arsenal have been hit by a number of injuries with defender Takehiro Tomiyasu substituted during the Sevilla game and club captain Martin Ødegaard having missed the last two games.

“Few are in contention,” Arteta said. “We have to give them another 24 hours to give them a chance to enter the game but we won’t know anything until tomorrow.

“He (Ødegaard) is still running (against the clock). He’s trying everything he can so we can see. It’s a possibility.”

Arsenal suffered their first league defeat of the season at Newcastle United last weekend, and Arteta was critical of the winner being awarded after three VAR checks.

Arteta did not want to go back on the controversy but was asked about reports that it will take 10 years to fix VAR’s shortcomings.

“Maybe I will be bald in 10 years, life will be very different, maybe we will have some new rules in football, I don’t know,” he said.

“Let’s try to do everything we can, individually and collectively to improve the game in all aspects and that’s it.”

Arsenal have the perfect chance to get back on track when they host Burnley on Saturday, a side who have won just one league title this season.

“If we look back at the games they played and the results they got, in some of them they got more than they got,” said Arteta.

“But that’s the difficulty of this league. Sometimes when you deserve more you don’t get it because the quality of the opposing teams is very high.”

Arsenal sit in fourth place, three points behind Manchester City. Burnley are second from bottom with four points from 11 games.