Mikel Arteta has said injured stars Kieran Tierney, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are all ‘in contention’ for Arsenal’s crucial Europa League clash with Villarreal.
The trio had been out of action with a range of injury issues in recent weeks and the Gunners boss also hinted that David Luiz could return for the match.
“They are all in contention all of them including Aubameyang, including Laca, including Kieran,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.
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Club captain Aubameyang was hospitalised with malaria after contracting the disease on international duty with Gabon in March, while Lacazette limped off with a hamstring issue in the recent draw with Fulham.
Luiz had undergone a minor procedure on a troublesome knee but has been pictured back in training.
Tierney picked up a knee injury in the Premier League defeat to Liverpool at the start of April and was initially expected to be ruled out for the remainder of the season.
However, Arteta has now said that the injury was not as bad as first feared.
"He didn't need the surgery that we were afraid of. He's been working like a beast every single day.
I don't know if he's going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible.
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Arsenal travel to Spain for the first leg of their semi-final on Thursday ahead of the return match at the Emirates.
The tie is potentially Arsenal’s last opportunity to salvage something from a disappointing domestic campaign and Arteta believes his side are ready to rise to the challenge.
He added: "Extremely excited to travel the game and play the tie. We have a tough opponent in front of us but we really want to be there."
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