Mikel Arteta is keen for players to return from injury as he wants Arsenal to be a more ‘unpredictable’ side ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Everton.
The Gunners’ game against the Toffees is their game in hand on Manchester City, offering them an opportunity to open up a five-point gap at the top of the Premier League.
Arsenal have had a number of injuries this season that limited Mikel Arteta’s matchday options, with the Gunners not possessing the deepest of squads.
Mikel Arteta says the return of players will be ‘crucial’ ahead of the title run-in, with the Spaniard wanting his side to be less predictable.
“We assess that [availability] situation every single day,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “The fact we have options right now, that we have players coming back from injury is going to be crucial because players cannot maintain the same level for 10 months, it is just impossible.
“We need to change and be more unpredictable and we have those options now.”
One of those players who is nearing a return is Thomas Partey, though Wednesday’s game may come too soon for the Ghanian.
🗣️ “That means nothing because there’s another 14 games to play.”
Mikel Arteta on the possibility of making 60 points after 25 Premier League, which would make them just the third Arsenal side to achieve this in history. pic.twitter.com/Etwr9dvHeU
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 28, 2023
“He hasn’t trained much, he’s only had a session,” said Arteta. “He will train today. He was out for a few weeks and he needs to get the rhythm.”
It will be Arsenal’s second meeting with Everton in less than a month, with Sean Dyche steering the Blues to a 1-0 win in his first game in charge.
“It is a case of doing things better than we played them a few weeks ago and earning the right to win the game,” Arteta said. “Hopefully tomorrow we will play much better than we did that day.”
Arteta has come up against Sean Dyche on six occasions, winning just one and scoring just two goals.
Asked about facing the Everton boss, Arteta said: “With every manager it is the same, we have to look at certain matches and try to get the right tactics to beat them but as well the same mentality and expectation from what we demand of the game.”