Thomas Partey travels with Arsenal squad ahead of Benfica clash

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ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 13: Arsenal unveil new signing Thomas Partey at London Colney on October 13, 2020 in St Albans, England. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

A pivotal moment

Arsenal have been given a massive boost ahead of their clash with Benfica which could be a pivotal point of their season for a number of reasons.

The return of Thomas Partey could be the spark which Arsenal need to continue the revival of a season which has threatened to sink into incredibly depressing depths.

The Gunners sit 11th in the table and still in sight of a European qualification spot in the league but only if they are able to pick up their form which has been difficult to maintain during the campaign.

The benefit of having so many teams still above them is the fact that they all will need to play against each other. Arsenal need to focus on themselves and taking each game at a time in order to pick up as many points as possible. However, the league will take a seat on the bench for the moment as a clash with Benfica approaches.

Thomas Partey travels with Arsenal squad ahead of Benfica clash

Arsenal’s Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey (L), Arsenal’s French-born Ivorian midfielder Nicolas Pepe (C) and Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (R) discuss options at a freekick during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 30, 2021. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Having drawn the first leg away from ‘home’ 1-1, the tie still very much in the balance. Arsenal have a slight advantage in the fact they’re able to score an away goal through Bukayo Saka.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a number of clear-cut chances and will be hoping, should he start, to put his poor goalscoring form behind him once again. A hat-trick against Leeds has done little to mask a very dire season for the Gabonese forward.

If Arsenal were to go out on Thursday, pressure from the supporters on Mikel Arteta could reach new heights.

Partey passed fit

The boost is in the form of Partey returning to full training and having been confirmed to have made the trip to Greece for the second leg of the tie.

Mikel Arteta spoke ahead of the game and said that it was very close that the Ghanaian international could make the squad.

“Thomas is very close,” Mikel Arteta said. “He’s got a final test today in training. If he’s feeling good, he will be available to play the match.”

It is a matter of fact that Arsenal look an incredibly more astute side when they have their main summer signing in the team. Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos and Mohamed Elneny have shown glimmers of positivity throughout the season, more so the Swiss international, however all pale in comparison to the quality which Partey possesses.

Pictures: Partey trains with Arsenal first team ahead of January return

Real Madrid’s injury crisis laid bare as just 12 first-team stars included in squad to face Atalanta


This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 25 35 59
2 Manchester United FC 25 21 49
3 Leicester City FC 25 17 49
4 West Ham United FC 25 10 45
5 Chelsea FC 25 16 43
6 Liverpool FC 25 11 40
7 Everton FC 24 4 40
8 Aston Villa FC 23 11 36
9 Tottenham Hotspur FC 24 10 36
10 Leeds United 25 0 35
11 Arsenal FC 25 5 34
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 25 -6 33
13 Crystal Palace FC 25 -14 32
14 Southampton FC 25 -12 30
15 Burnley FC 25 -12 28
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 25 -6 26
17 Newcastle United FC 25 -17 25
18 Fulham FC 25 -11 22
19 West Bromwich Albion 25 -36 14
20 Sheffield United FC 25 -26 11
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 8
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7

Source: 101greatgoals.com