Arsenal sweating on Saka, Ødegaard injuries

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka is an injury doubt for the Premier League game against Burnley, manager Mikel Arteta said in a news conference on Friday.

Saka limped off late in the 2-0 Champions League win over Sevilla and was named in the England squad on Thursday.

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Arteta said he doesn’t want a repeat of his last call-up when he left the England camp having missed Arsenal’s game before that international break.

“Hopefully not. We want our players to play for their club and play for their national teams,” Arteta told reporters.

“B [Saka] had to leave the pitch because he was in quite a lot of pain. He didn’t train yesterday and let’s see if he can make it tomorrow.”

Arsenal have been hit by several injuries with defender Takehiro Tomiyasu replaced during the Sevilla game and club captain Martin Ødegaard missing the last two matches.

“A few are still in contention,” Arteta said. “We need to give them 24 more hours to give them a chance to be involved in the game, but we won’t know anything until tomorrow.

“He’s [Ødegaard] still racing [against the clock]. He’s trying everything that he can so let’s see. It’s a possibility.”

Arsenal suffered their first league defeat of the season at Newcastle United last weekend, and Arteta was vocal in his criticism of the winning goal which was awarded after a triple VAR assessment.

Arteta didn’t want to go back over the controversy but he was asked about reports that it will take 10 years to iron out VAR imperfections.

“I will probably be bald in 10 years, life will be very different, maybe we will have other new rules in football, so I don’t know,” he said.

“Let’s try to do everything that we can, individually and collectively to improve the game in every aspect and that’s it.”

Arsenal have the perfect chance to get back on track when they host Burnley on Saturday, a side with only one league win this season.

“Looking back on the games they have played and the results they’ve got, in some of them they merited much more than what they got,” Arteta said.

“But that is the difficulty of this league. Sometimes when you deserve more you don’t get it because the quality of the oppositions is so high.”

Arsenal are fourth in the table, three points behind leaders Manchester City. Burnley are second bottom with four points from 11 games.

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