Arsenal’s Martinelli & Zinchenko doubts for PSV tie

Arsenal won 2-1 at FC Zurich, then beat Bodo Glimt 3-0 at Emirates Stadium before winning the reverse tie 1-0
Date: Thursday, 20 October. Time: 18:00 BST. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.
Coverage: Listen on BBC local radio; text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Arsenal will make late checks on the fitness of forward Gabriel Martinelli and full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko for their home Europa League game against Dutch side PSV Eindhoven on Thursday.

The pair missed training but boss Mikel Arteta said they were not ruled out.

Martinelli played throughout Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Leedsbut Zinchenko has missed four matches with a calf injury.

The Gunners would reach the knockout phase with a draw, while victory would take them close to winning Group A.

This game was due to be played on September 15 but was postponed because of “severe limitations on police resources” following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Arsenal
Arsenal had been due to play Manchester City in the Premier League this midweek, but instead will face PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League

Premier League leaders Arsenal are top of Group A with three wins from three games, scoring six times and only conceding once, while PSV are second with two victories and a draw from their three matches.

The Europa League group winners advance into the last 16 in March, but the runners-up will have a two-legged play-off in February against a side that finishes third in the Champions League groups.

As it stands, potential opponents for Europa League runners-up include Ajax, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Juventus and AC Milan.

If Arsenal beat PSV then the Gunners would only need a draw in the rematch in the Netherlands on 27 October to finish top of the group, and Arteta wanted his side to avoid a play-off.

“When you have a chance to take advantage you have to do it,” said Arteta.”You don’t know what happens in the next game. It will be a really tough match.

“Where we want to be at the top and the best team in this country.

“In order to do that you will meet teams that want to beat you and build that rivalry to a different level. We are already experiencing things like that.”

PSV are second in the Dutch Eredivisie, one point behind leaders Ajax, have scored 35 goals in 10 domestic games and are managed by former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

“They are a really good team,” added Arteta. “What Ruud has done, the way they play, the amount of goals they score, they are really dangerous.”

In his news conference, Van Nistelrooy said he relished the challenge of facing the Gunners.

He added: “They’ve had a great start. Ten games in the season, with nine wins, it’s an amazing start from them, the way they are playing.

“Arteta is developing his team with his style of play and he has done well with a young side – it’s a very promising team that’s a joy to watch.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to come here and test ourselves.”

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