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Bayern logo
Champions League | Quarter-Finals | 2nd Leg
Apr 17, 2024 at 8pm UK
Allianz Arena
Arsenal logo

1 - 0

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Mikel Arteta provides Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka update ahead of Bayern showdown

Arteta provides Odegaard, Saka update ahead of Bayern showdown
© Reuters
Mikel Arteta is hopeful that Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard can recover from knocks in time to face Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League showdown.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is keeping his fingers crossed that Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka will both be fine to feature in Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg with Bayern Munich.

The North London giants have several wrongs to right at the Allianz Arena, notably their two 5-1 defeats in their last two trips to Munich in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 editions.

Arteta's men were on course for a first-leg success thanks to Saka's slick opener last week, but Bayern capitalised on rare defensive mistakes from the Gunners to take the lead through Serge Gnabry and Harry Kane.

Prolific substitute Leandro Trossard managed to salvage a stalemate for Arsenal, but they arrive at the Allianz Arena on the back of a chastening 2-0 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League, their first top-flight defeat of 2024.

Deep into the second half of that loss to the Lions, Odegaard had to be withdrawn with a niggle, with Arteta confirming that his captain could not continue for the latter stages of the contest.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring their third goal on February 24, 2024© Reuters

Arsenal to "assess" key attacking duo

Meanwhile, Saka - who has been managing minor injuries throughout the campaign - was seen awkwardly limping in added time, an all-too familiar sight for Arteta and co throughout the campaign.

However, the pair were seen in team training with the Gunners at London Colney on Tuesday lunchtime, and both men have made the flight to Munich for the blockbuster Allianz Arena battle.

Speaking to reporters in his pre-game press conference, as quoted by, Arteta admitted that Odegaard and Saka had had "very little" training time, but he is hopeful that the pair will be given the thumbs-up to play.

"Yeah hopefully. Today we had only less than 48 hours to recover from the game. We have done very little training. We will assess them tomorrow and see how they are," Arteta said.

As a result, Jurrien Timber - who has now been sidelined for over eight months with an ACL injury - should be the visitors' sole absentee for the second leg, but Arteta could still consider an alteration at full-back.

Arteta responds to Oleksandr Zinchenko contract reports

Oleksandr Zinchenko celebrates scoring for Arsenal on November 11, 2023© Reuters

After replacing Jakub Kiwior at half time in the first leg, Oleksandr Zinchenko started against Aston Villa in the Premier League, but a sub-par showing saw the Ukrainian at fault for the Lions' first goal.

As well as being caught massively out of position, Zinchenko played Lucas Digne onside, allowing the Frenchman to whip a low ball across the six-yard box, where Leon Bailey was waiting unmarked to tap home.

Arsenal are understood to be searching for a new left-back this summer and have not opened renewal talks with Zinchenko, whose deal expires in 2026, but Arteta was loath to discuss his situation.

"The decision is to focus on the Champions League quarter finals to be through tomorrow," the Spaniard added, before going on to hail the left-back's "unbelievable" bravery.

"We love Alex. He has given us a lot and is a player with different qualities with an unbelievable courage to play football in his circumstances. As we always demand, with our players, give them support because for sure they are going to perform better."

Nevertheless, Takehiro Tomiyasu could now be considered for a start against Bayern, who will be without two of their star attackers for the visit of the Gunners due to injury.

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Arsenal's Bukayo Saka celebrates scoring their fifth goal with Martin Odegaard on February 11, 2024
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