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Two Arsenal stars to face late fitness test ahead of Bayern Munich clash

Two Arsenal players will face a late fitness to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League despite traveling with the squad

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Arsenal players
Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has expressed optimism regarding the fitness of key players Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka as the team prepares to face Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final showdown at the Allianz Arena. 

Despite both of them travelling with the squad to Germany, the duo will undergo late assessments to determine their availability for the clash.

The Gunners, aiming to secure a spot in the semi-finals following a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium last week, are keen to field their strongest lineup for the match, which carries significant weight for their season’s trajectory.

Odegaard was forced off during their recent defeat to Aston Villa due to injury concerns, as confirmed by Arteta post-match. Despite this setback, the Norwegian midfielder participated in training on Tuesday, indicating potential readiness for the upcoming fixture.

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Similarly, Saka, who has been nursing knocks in recent weeks, displayed signs of discomfort towards the end of the Villa encounter. Nonetheless, the English international trained ahead of the Bayern clash, demonstrating his determination to contribute to Arsenal’s campaign.

Arsenal stars Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka

Arsenal stars Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka (Image credit: Getty Images)

Arteta addressed the media in his pre-match press conference, expressing hope for Odegaard and Saka’s involvement, considering the limited recovery time since their last game. He emphasised the significance of the match as a defining moment for his youthful squad, many of whom are experiencing Champions League knockout football for the first time.

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“Hopefully [they can play],” said Arteta in his pre-match press conference. “We’ve had less than 48 hours to recover from the game and we’ve had very little training, so we will assess them tomorrow and see how they are.”

Acknowledging the team’s journey and efforts over the past months, Arteta underscored the opportunity at hand to progress further in the competition, highlighting their tenacity to return to Champions League contention after a prolonged absence.

“A performance that puts us in the Champions League semi-final,” he said. “All the preparation has been to achieve that.

“We have earned it. We have earned it for ten months and everything we did last season, to start our journey in the Champions League after so many years.”

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich are grappling with their own injury woes. Manager Thomas Tuchel revealed that Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry would be sidelined due to injuries sustained in their previous fixture against Cologne. However, Leroy Sane is expected to feature despite carrying a minor concern, with Tuchel urging the winger to persevere through the discomfort for as long as possible.

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