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Arsenal handed double injury boost ahead of Southampton

Arsenal have received a major fitness boost ahead of their trip to Southampton in the Premier League this afternoon…

What’s the latest?

The Gunners’ attacking duo of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli are expected to be available, despite doubts earlier in the week, as per the Evening Standard.

Martinelli had been struggling with illness, as well as a calf problem picked up against Leeds United, and as a result, missed training on Wednesday before their Europa League clash with PSV Eindhoven.

Saka started the game at the Emirates Stadium but limped off with five minutes to go following a kick to his calf.

“I think he [Saka] is fine. He was struggling a bit at the end but hopefully he’ll be fine for Sunday,” claimed manager Mikel Arteta, who also spoke about the Brazilian winger too. He added:

“He had a tough week. He wasn’t feeling great in the week. But in the day before the game he was already feeling better so that’s why we decided to play him a little bit.”

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Major boost

Whilst the north Londoners aren’t expected to see the return of Oleksandr Zinchenko just yet, it is certainly hugely encouraging news to have two of their regular starters in line to feature down on the south coast.

Indeed, both Martinelli and Saka have started all ten of their top-flight outings this term, in which Arteta’s side have won nine matches and subsequently lead the standings, where they could hold a four-point cushion over nearest rivals, defending champions Manchester City, with a win against the Saints.

Only goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, defensive duo William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes and vice-skipper Granit Xhaka have played more minutes, whilst the pair both sit on four goals, just one behind Gabriel Jesus, as per WhoScored.

Saka, in particular, has enjoyed a standout campaign thus far with a total of eight direct goal contributions at a rate of one every 110 minutes.

Southampton are by no means the toughest test that Arsenal will face in the coming weeks before the World Cup but it presents a good opportunity for the side to keep up their electric form as they now face the fifth leakiest defence in the Premier League.

Having both Martinelli and Saka available, to play upfront alongside Jesus, will only bolster their chances of success and adding to each player’s impressive exploits in front of goal.

As such, Arteta and his staff will be thrilled to see the pair available for selection at St Mary’s Stadium this afternoon.

AND in other news, Arteta could unearth Arsenal’s new Santi Cazorla in “top class” £34m “special talent”

Article title: Arsenal handed double injury boost ahead of Southampton

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