Why Gabriel Martinelli won't play for Arsenal vs PSV

  • Gabriel Martinelli is expected to miss Arsenal's Champions League game at PSV
  • Four academy graduates made the trip
  • Emile Smith Rowe returns to first team training
Gabriel Martinelli
Gabriel Martinelli / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli is expected to miss Arsenal's last Champions League group game against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday with illness.

The Brazilian missed training on Monday, and his absence has sparked fears regarding his status for the weekend's clash with Brighton.

Additionally, Bukayo Saka, another integral figure in Arsenal's attacking line, was absent from training nursing a reported foot injury. Despite this setback, there's optimism about Saka's potential inclusion, as he aims to recover swiftly in time for the match in Eindhoven. However, the vast majority of supporters would be content with the winger earning a rest in midweek.

Arsenal injury updates ahead of PSV clash

However, amid these concerns, Emile Smith Rowe, sidelined due to a knee injury since October, has shown promising signs of a return. The attacking midfielder participated in the team's training session, raising hopes of a possible comeback and potential involvement in the lineup against PSV.

The significance of Tuesday's fixture is somewhat diminished in terms of qualification, with both Arsenal and PSV having already secured their spots in the knockout stages. The Gunners' trajectory as Group B winners is confirmed, irrespective of the outcome in Eindhoven, ensuring a favourable draw in the round of 16 stage.

Mikel Arteta is expected to rotate his team with six fixtures during the busy festive period. This decision aims to maintain the freshness of key players for the Premier League clash against table-toppers Liverpool at Anfield just before Christmas.

Following a disappointing 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, Arsenal currently trails Liverpool by a single point. But before the trip to Merseyside, Arsenal will welcome Brighton on Sunday.

Arteta has finalised the travelling squad after the final training session on Monday, with three Hale Enders making the trip. Among them are academy talents Ethan Nwaneri and Reuell Walters, who both featured for the club during pre-season.