Bukayo Saka conditions for Arsenal return as Mikel Arteta is without five players vs Chelsea – Football.London

Mikel Arteta might just be the envy of many managers right now as he has a near fully fit Arsenal first-team squad to choose from for the London derby against Chelsea this evening (Saturday).

Having said that, the Spaniard still has to make a few checks having not seen as many as 14 of his senior players for much of the past fortnight because of the international break, revealing the situation would become a whole lot clearer following the training session at London Colney.

“Not a lot,” Arteta told reporters in the pre-match press conference on Friday morning when asked for the latest Arsenal team news. “We haven’t had a lot of players. We’re going to do our first training session today and we’ll know more after the session.”

If all 14 players have returned from international duty unscathed and there aren’t any fresh injury concerns, Arteta will be able to name an unchanged squad from the win over Manchester City almost a fortnight ago. This will include William Saliba and Leandro Trossard who did not go away with France and Belgium respectively.

Meanwhile, the hope is that Bukayo Saka will, once again, be available for selection too. The winger missed the 1-0 win over the champions with a hamstring problem and subsequently withdrew from the England squad for their double-header against Australia and Italy.

Without going as far as to confirm the Arsenal number seven will return for the trip to Stamford Bridge, Arteta did reveal the winger has been working hard to be in contention: “I’m sure he wants to play yes,” the Spanish tactician added. “He’s been working so hard to be fit for this game. So let’s see where he’s at today.”

READ MORE: Arsenal line-ups vs Chelsea as Saka starts, Martinelli recall, Havertz and Partey decisions made


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