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PSV
Champions League | Group Stage
Dec 12, 2023 at 5.45pm UK
Philips Stadion
Arsenal logo
PSV
1 - 1
Arsenal
Vertessen (50')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Nketiah (42')

Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli miss Arsenal training ahead of PSV Eindhoven clash

Saka, Martinelli miss Arsenal training ahead of PSV clash
© Reuters
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli both miss Arsenal training ahead of their Champions League clash with PSV Eindhoven, but Emile Smith Rowe is back fit.

Neither Bukayo Saka nor Gabriel Martinelli were involved in Arsenal's Monday morning training session ahead of their Champions League Group B finale with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.

Mikel Arteta's men head to the Philips Stadion with nothing but pride on the line, having already assured themselves of a spot in the last 16 and a first-placed finish with a game to spare by thrashing Lens 6-0 last time out.

With PSV also safely through to the knockout rounds as runners-up, Tuesday's showdown is a dead rubber for both teams, and rotation is therefore expected to be on the cards for both Arteta and Peter Bosz.

The Gunners are already guaranteed to be without four long-term injury victims in Thomas Partey (thigh), Jurrien Timber (knee), Fabio Vieira (groin) and Takehiro Tomiyasu (calf), but Arteta has now been handed a pair of fresh concerns.

As is customary ahead of European matches, Arsenal opened up a portion of their training session to the media on Monday morning, but Saka and Martinelli were both nowhere to be seen.

Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli receives treatment for an injury on September 17, 2023© Reuters

Saka has already sustained a couple of knocks this season and was in the wars once again during Saturday's 1-0 Premier League loss to Aston Villa, being fouled five times throughout the contest.

According to a report from football.london, the England winger did not take part in the Gunners' final practice session at London Colney due to a foot injury, although he is still expected to form part of the travelling party to the Netherlands.

However, it would be a surprise to see Saka risked against PSV given his recent niggles, so the door could swing open for fellow academy graduate Reiss Nelson to start on Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the report adds that Martinelli has come down with a sickness bug, and the Brazil international is likely to stay behind in London while he recuperates ahead of the weekend's meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Martinelli's absence is expected to lead to a recall for Leandro Trossard on the left-hand side of the Arsenal attack, but Arteta received one significant boost on Monday, as Emile Smith Rowe returned to training after a recent knee injury.

The Englishman has been plagued by several fitness concerns since his breakthrough 2021-22 season, as his 2022-23 campaign was hampered by a groin injury, and he took damage to his knee before last month's EFL Cup loss to West Ham United.

Arteta was initially coy about Smith Rowe's chances of returning to action before the end of the calendar year, but the 23-year-old seemingly has a strong chance of making the squad for the trip to PSV, where he could make his first appearance since October 28.

Arteta will offer an update on his squad when he faces the media on Monday evening, but Smith Rowe will only be expected to make the bench if he is given the green light to travel to the Netherlands.

Smith Rowe should be joined in the dugout by a number of academy players hoping to earn valuable minutes, including Ethan Nwaneri and Myles Lewis-Skelly, both of whom made the squad for the six-goal thumping of Lens.

Reuell Walters, Lino Sousa and Amario Cozier-Duberry are also eyeing their senior competitive debuts, while Charles Sagoe Jr will bid to earn just his second first-team appearance after starting September's EFL Cup third-round beating of Brentford.

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Group A

TeamPWDLPTS
QBayern651016
QCopenhagen62228
3Galatasaray61235
4Man Utd61144

Group B

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QArsenal641113
QPSV62319
3Lens62228
4Sevilla60242

Group C

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QNapoli631210
3Braga61144
4Union Berlin60242

Group D

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QInter Milan633012
3Benfica61144
4Salzburg61144

Group E

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QLazio631210
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Group F

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QPSG62228
3AC Milan62228
4Newcastle61235

Group G

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QRB Leipzig640212
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Group H

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4Antwerp61053

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