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Arsenal Wait On Aubameyang And Odegaard Fitness

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is waiting on the fitness of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Martin Odegaard before their Europa League quarter-final second leg at Slavia Prague.

Striker Aubameyang has been struggling with illness, while on-loan midfielder Odegaard has an ankle problem.

However, the Gunners have been boosted by the availability of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe.

The Gunners travel to Prague with the tie at 1-1 after Tomas Holes’ late equaliser at the Emirates last week.

With Arteta’s side ninth in the Premier League, winning the Europa League offers their best route back into Europe next season.

Asked if Aubameyang and Odegaard would train on Wednesday after having missed Tuesday’s session, the Spaniard replied: “I don’t know, we have to see how they are.

“We still have a couple of other ones as well from the last few days, so we’ll have to see how everybody is and after training how they react for [Wednesday’s] game.”

Defeat for Arsenal on Thursday would likely mean that next season is the club’s first without European football since 1995-96.

Arteta is aware his tenure, which is now 18 months old, will be judged on such results.

“Tangible is the right word and the only tangible thing is results,” he said. “Whether you’re doing a good job or not, to judge it externally is only going to be judged with results.

“Internally, you know what you are doing and you can have many different ways of judging that but at the end of the day, externally results are the only important thing to give the perception that we are moving forward in the right direction.”

He also called on his players to step up and ensure Thursday’s second leg is not the end of their European campaign for this season and likely the next.

“We’ve shown that in big games, big players have to step in and create the magic moments and you need that, so let’s hope that we can have them,” he added.

“It doesn’t matter who it is but someone has to create when the team needs those moments.

“We have moments in the season where it has been the senior players and then other moments where it has been the young players.”

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