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Major Boost For Arsenal In Premier League Title Race Ahead of Brentford Clash

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Major Boost For Arsenal In Premier League Title Race Ahead of Brentford Clash

Bukayo Saka is reportedly ready to hand Arsenal a fitness boost ahead of Gunner’s Premier League clash with Brentford on Saturday.

The England inyernational was substituted at half-time of the Gunners’ 6-0 win over Sheffield United in the Monday Night Football. He was replaced by Fabio Vieira as Arteta opted to give Saka a well-earned rest with Arsenal leading 5-0 at the interval at Bramall Lane.

Arteta confirmed after the game that Saka’s substitution was not injury or tactic-related. The Gunners boss explained how Saka was feeling unwell during the game and was withdrawn to give him a rest.

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“No he was feeling a bit sick,” Arteta told reporters on Monday night. “As well we have Fabio [Vieira] who we needed to give minutes. It was a great opportunity.”

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal injured

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal injured Image: Getty

Bukayo Saka handed fitness boost ahead of Brentford clash

A report fromThe Standardhas revealed that Saka was feeling ill in the days leading to the game against Sheffield United, and even had to leave training early on one occasion.

Saka insisted that he wanted to play despite this, and helped win the game for Arsenal within the first 15 minutes, with his cross turned in by Jayden Bogle to double his side’s early lead.

The 22-year-old has now recovered from his sickness, and is “expected to be fit” for the late kick-off on Saturday, with Arsenal hoping to make it eight Premier League wins in a row.

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Arsenal have the opportunity to move to the top of the league standings with victory over Brentford. Liverpool and Manchester City meet at Anfield on Sunday, where at least one of the Gunners’ title rivals will drop points this weekend.

Arteta will also be waiting on the status of Gabriel Martinelli’s fitness for the game. Martinelli suffered a cut during the win over the win over the Blades and was substituted in the second half, and it remains to be seen if he will recover in time to face Brentford.

“Then we had a little issue with Gabi Martinelli,” said Arteta on Monday. “He had a slight cut in his foot. We need to wait and see how it is.”

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Was Mikel Arteta right to start Bukayo Saka against Sheffield United?

Arteta was criticised earlier this season for failing to rotate Saka more, leading to burnout and a dip in form prior to January’s Winter break.

Given Sheffield United’s struggles, this could have been a game that Saka sat out, with Reiss Nelson, Leandro Trossard or even Fabio Vieira coming in for him.

However, Arteta and Saka both decided that he would continue in his starting role, and the Spaniard made the correct decision to bring him off at half-time, with his side leading 5-0 at that point.

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Saka is Arsenal’s main man when it comes to goals and creativity, and losing him in any game will be a blow. Given that his problem was illness, rather than injury-related, it was likely of little risk to play him for half a game, and ensure that the three points were secured before his withdrawal.

Whilst this may have come as a frustration to someone like Nelson, who may have seen the bottom-of-the-league side as a rare opportunity for a start, Saka’s insistence that he wanted to play was likely the deciding factor for Arteta.

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