January 28, 2022

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Already hurt players don’t need motivating – Arteta

2 min read

Mikel Arteta hopes to lift some of the pressure by beating West Brom in the Carabao Cup while preparing for the massive trip to Manchester City.

The last thing Arteta probably needs is a visit to The Hawthorns to face in-form Championship promotion hopefuls three days before they head to the Etihad.

The Gunners are already feeling the heat this season without a point from their opening two Premier League matches after back-to-back 2-0 defeats by Brentford and Chelsea.

Nevertheless, the Spaniard is set to field a strong side as Arsenal bid to reach the third round of the League Cup.

“The approach is to win the game and go to the next round,” Arteta told Arsenal.com.

“To try to get players back if possible to help us because then we have Manchester City at the weekend, and to try to lift the players.

“Obviously they are hurt, the feeling is tough at the moment, they need some help as well with players coming back, and keep them together, because the spirit there is good.

“They don’t need motivating. Honestly, they are really together, one thing they don’t need is motivating. That is really clear, they are really trying what they can do. Give them confidence – that is what they need.”

Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette are available for the trip to the Black Country.

Odegaard has now received full clearance to play following his £30million permanent switch from Real Madrid and Lacazette is back in full training following his positive Covid-19 test.

Summer signing Ben White also tested positive ahead of the Chelsea match and will not be available on Wednesday.

Kieran Tierney has returned to full training after suffering from cramp in his thigh and Hector Bellerin will have a late check on a thigh problem.

The return of some of Arteta’s first team players will be music to the manager’s ears, who described their situation for the Chelsea game as “difficult and unprecedented”.

“I don’t think the club in their history have faced something like this,” boss Arteta said.

“We have to face the challenge. The league or table is not decided in August. The worst thing you can do is throw in the towel. We certainly are not going to do that.”

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