Thursday, 27 February 2020

Arteta hopeful Kolasinac will return to action this season


Sead Kolasinac
Injured Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac will miss his side's Europa League last-32 second leg against Olympiakos, but manager Mikel Arteta is hopeful he will return to action this season.

Kolasinac suffered a "significant" shoulder injury during Sunday's 3-2 win against Everton, and Arteta admits the signs are "not very positive".

"He is seeing the specialist and we'll know more this afternoon," he said.

"Hopefully he can return, it depends if it's dislocated and he needs surgery."

The Gunners lead the tie 1-0 after Alexandre Lacazette's late winner in Greece, and Arteta wants to "maximise" his side's "three routes into Europe" next season.

Winning the FA Cup or finishing seventh in the Premier League will likely deliver Europa League football for 2020-21, while victory in this season's competition will seal Champions League qualification.

"We have three different routes to Europe. We have to try to maximise the three of them and we go game by game," he said.

"That's all we can do at the moment because the objectives are still so far behind."

Bukayo Saka, 18, who replaced Kolasinac in Sunday's victory over Everton, is expected to start at Emirates Stadium.

Injured full-backs Kieran Tierney and Cedric Soares are expected to return to training by the end of the month.
'Anything and everything is possible'

Leaders Olympiakos are unbeaten in the Greek top flight but have won just one of their past 12 matches in the knockout stage of major European competition.

The visitors, who qualified for the last 32 by finishing third in their Champions League group, were beaten by Tottenham on their last visit to north London but manager Pedro Martins says his side "will give our all" to qualify.

"Anything and everything is possible," he posted on his personal Twitter account.

"We won a tough game in Thessaloniki, now we're focused on Arsenal and we'll fight for our place in the next round of the Europa League.

"We'll give our all to make every Olympiakos fan proud."







https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/51623263

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