Mikel Arteta on decision to take strong Arsenal squad into Champions League dead-rubber

Arsenal faced off with Aston Villa on Saturday evening and fell to a 1-0 defeat, which moved them off top spot behind Liverpool.

The Gunners are back in Champions League action on Tuesday vs PSV and are 7/4 to pick up the win with bet365.

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December 12, 2023

5:45 pm GMT

Mikel Arteta on PSV squad selection

Mikel Arteta says Arsenal’s fitness woes and his desire for squad unity led to him taking a strong squad to PSV for their Champions League game despite the Gunners having already secured top spot in their group with a game to play.

Arsenal are without five first-team players and have taken three academy players to the Netherlands. Attacking midfielder Ethan Nwaneri, defender Reuell Walters and full-back Lino Sousa have all travelled and the latter two could make their debuts.

Arteta has also brought the rest of his first-team squad, though, and that includes Bukayo Saka, who did not train on Monday morning due to a knock to his foot.

“We have five or six big injuries so we are already a bit thin,” said Arteta.

“I don’t know in another context what I would have done, but I also want everyone together with the mentality to win. I want to see that in their tummies tomorrow.

“The job technically is done, but the job is not completely done. It is our duty as representatives of Arsenal to win every game and to give a big performance against a team that is going to make things very difficult as they have shown the past two years.”

Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.