Arsenal will be without striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in Tuesday’s EFL Cup quarter-final with Manchester City.
The Gabon international missed the 2-1 Premier League loss at Everton, a match that extended the Gunners’ winless domestic run to seven games.
Manager Mikel Arteta confirmed Aubameyang is improving but will not be ready to face Pep Guardiola’s side at Emirates Stadium.
“Auba is feeling much better and he was more positive yesterday [Sunday] than in the previous two days,” Arteta told reporters on Monday. “He will have another scan in the next few days and we will see how quickly we can get him back in the team.
“We know how important he is for us and he feels that responsibility and he is trying his best to be back fit as quickly as possible. For the rest, I don’t think we’re going to have any news today before training.
“Auba is not fit for tomorrow, that’s for sure. He won’t be playing tomorrow so we will see who is available because we have a few doubts as well in other positions. We want to get together a very competitive team because we know the level of City and we want to win the game tomorrow.”
14 – Arsenal’s points return from 14 games this season is their worst record at this stage since the 1974-75 campaign (12 points, converted to 3/win). Desperate. pic.twitter.com/wowPbSkoXe
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 19, 2020
Arteta admits the match will serve as a welcome distraction from Arsenal’s league campaign, with the defeat to Everton leaving them 15th in the table having taken five points from their past 10 matches.
“This is what we want to use it for. It’s a competition we want to try to win,” he said. “We had two difficult opponents before in Leicester City and Liverpool, we managed to beat them both and now we are playing at home and we are one step closer to Wembley. So, it is a really nice game to play, as this is the type of game we are looking for through the season.”
Arteta suggested he could choose to field some youngsters against City and admits he has been surprised by the maturity they have displayed during a difficult few weeks at the club.
“It’s part of what they have to do and what they have to go through to become really important players for this football club,” he said. “You have to see how people react in difficult moments and they have to experience it themselves, to get through these difficult moments and how they’re going to handle that pressure.
“If they are able to do that, they have to handle good moments and how they handle that to continue performing at the level that is required here. So it’s another experience for them and I must say that they have been much more mature, responsible and efficient than I was expecting. So in my opinion, they are doing really well.”
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