Arteta worried about key injury before Villa match.
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Arteta worried about key injury before Villa match.



Aston Villa head to Arsenal on Sunday aiming to bolster their chances of finishing in the top four of the Premier League this season.

Gabriel Magalhaes and Jurrien Timber could return to Arsenal’s lineup as they prepare for their Premier League match against Aston Villa.

The Gunners, led by Mikel Arteta, will welcome Unai Emery’s squad at Emirates Stadium on Sunday, as the title race and push for Champions League qualifying heat up. Villa are just one goal behind Tottenham Hotspur in the race for the top four after a 3-3 draw with Brentford last Saturday.

Meanwhile, Arsenal is coming off a 2-2 draw with Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday, while Emery’s side defeated Lille 2-1 in the Europa Conference League on Thursday. Arteta lauded Villa’s development under Emery, saying: “What they’ve done since Unai arrived. He’s had a significant impact in terms of performance.

“What they’ve been up to is continuously outstanding. They’re in a European competition and played yesterday night. “I am very impressed with what they have done.”

After praising Villa, Arteta provided an update on two injury worries ahead of this weekend’s Premier League games. Take a look at the Arsenal’s fitness difficulties below.

Gabriel Magalhaes

Gabriel was injured in the encounter against Brighton, but he returned to the Champions League on Tuesday. Despite a head-on collision with Harry Kane, the 26-year-old centre-back appears to be in decent shape.

Mikel Arteta provided an update on the squad’s condition, saying: “We have one more day to prepare for the encounter. We’ll see tomorrow whether everyone is accessible. We have some, but with another day, we should be fine.”

Timber, who injured his anterior cruciate ligament in an August Premier League encounter against Nottingham Forest, is making good progress. Although he has been working with the club since before the international break, Arteta has stated that Timber still needs to take a few steps before returning to competitive play.

The manager mentioned: “He still has a few steps to take. He needs to play at least one game for the Under 23s. We’ll be having an in-house game soon. He has completed everything in training; now it is time to get him match fit, have people around him, and compete in a football match, which is different from training. Based on what we’ve seen in training and the time he’s been fit, he’ll have a significant impact on the squad.”

While Timber’s return date is undetermined, there is hope that he will be able to return to match fitness shortly.


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