(Reuters) – Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will make a late call on the availability of left back Oleksandr Zinchenko and forward Gabriel Martinelli after both players missed training before Thursday’s Europa League game against PSV Eindhoven.
Zinchenko has not featured since the win over Tottenham Hotspur at the start of this month but Arteta did not rule him out of Thursday’s match, allaying fears he would not play again before the Nov. 14-Dec. 25 break for the World Cup.
The 25-year-old, who moved to Arsenal from Manchester City in the close season, made a strong start to the campaign before being hampered by the calf injury which has restricted him to six appearances in all competitions so far.
Martinelli played the full 90 minutes in Sunday’s win over Leeds United in the Premier League but has also been struggling with a slight calf issue.
“No they are not ruled out, but we will see tomorrow what we decide,” Arteta told reporters on Wednesday.
“(Zinchenko) had an injury in his calf, that’s why he’s been out for this period… I don’t think so (there’s anything to worry about).”
The fixture against PSV was scheduled to be played on Sept. 15 but was postponed due to a lack of adequate security personnel following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
Arsenal top Group A with nine points from three games, while PSV are two points behind in second.
Arteta said it was vital for Arsenal to consolidate their position at the top of the table and open up a five-point gap before next week’s return game in the Netherlands.
“Really important. In Europe when you have the chance to take an advantage you have to do it because it’s always very unpredictable what can happen in the next game,” Arteta said.
“What I can say watching them and what they are doing domestically, internationally, (it will be) a really tough match.”
(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)