Updates on the wellbeing of Arsenal stars Thomas Partey and Rob Holding have surfaced online this evening, ahead of the club’s meeting with Benfica.
Arsenal vs Benfica
Mikel Arteta’s men are set to return to European action on Thursday.
The Gunners will make the trip to the Karaiskakis Stadium in Greece, for the 2nd-leg of their Europa League Last-32 meeting with Portuguese giants Benfica.
The tie of course sits on a knife-edge as things stand, on the back of a 1-1 stalemate in the opener between the sides last week.
After Benfica took the lead shortly before the hour mark through Pizzi’s effort from the penalty spot, Arsenal hit back just minutes later, as Bukayo Saka directed home Cedric Soares’ low delivery from the left:
Arsenal are level! 🔴
Bukayo Saka with the equaliser in Rome.
Bit of luck in the build-up as the ball came off the face of a Benfica player!#SLBARS | #UEL | #VMSport pic.twitter.com/pWAUhsOpLs
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 18, 2021
Following on from their draw in Rome, however, Arteta and co. fell to a damaging defeat in the Premier League over the weekend, when Raheem Sterling’s early header put what could prove to be the final nail in the top-6 hopes of the north Londoners at the Emirates.
As such, securing a positive result in 48 hours’ time is now nothing short of imperative for Arsenal.
And, ahead of their 2nd showdown with Benfica in the space of a week, the Gunners have today been handed a timely boost on the personnel front.
This comes in the form of the return of star midfielder Thomas Partey to first-team training.
Ghanaian international Partey was actually first spotted back at the club’s London Colney facility over the weekend, ahead of Arsenal’s meeting with City.
At the time, however, it was speculated that the former Atletico Madrid man was simply taking part in an individualised session.
Thomas Partey is back in training. Looks like it may have been an individual session. pic.twitter.com/zNX5gERcR0
— Jeorge Bird (@jeorgebird) February 20, 2021
Today, though, confirmation has been forthcoming that Partey was involved in collective training alongside the rest of Mikel Arteta’s squad on Tuesday.
Rob Holding, on the other hand – after picking up a concussion over the weekend – remained absent:
Thomas Partey is back in full training at Arsenal.https://t.co/uI13XjYFEc
— football.london (@Football_LDN) February 23, 2021
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This article was edited by Josh Barker.