Aubameyang, Lacazette and Tierney train with Arsenal before Villarreal Europa League clash – in pictures
Trio all in line to return for semi-final first leg in Spain
Arsenal have been given a boost before their Europa League semi-final at Villarreal on Thursday with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney all in line to return.
Captain Aubameyang has missed the last four games after contracting malaria during the March international break, while fellow forward Alexandre Lacazette has been out with a hamstring problem since their draw with Fulham on April 18.
Wingback Tierney is a major surprise as it was feared the knee problem he picked up against Liverpool on April 3 was not only going to end his season, but potentially force the Scotland player to miss out on this summer's European Championship.
“He didn’t need the surgery that at the beginning we were afraid of,” said Arteta on Wednesday. “Then he has been working like a beast every single day. And I don’t know if he is going to make it tomorrow, but certainly he wants to be as close as possible to that football pitch to give himself the best possible chance.”
Centre-half David Luiz, who has not played since the 3-3 draw with West Ham on March 21, has recovered from his knee problem and is also thought to be in running for the game in Spain.
“We do need them because we know that we have some players that are in contention and they are the ones that can make the difference in a big tie like this,” Arteta added.
“But the word risk, I don’t like it. I want to put players on the pitch that can perform and feel secure they can perform. If it is a risk or we are going to take a gamble, I don’t think it is the right game to do it.”
Updated: April 29, 2021 09:56 AM