Arsenal

Every word Mikel Arteta said on Martinelli injury, Zinchenko fitness and message to Arsenal fans

The Arsenal boss has spoken ahead of the Gunners Champions League round of 16 second leg clash with Porto at Emirates Stadium

Mikel Arteta faced questions at the Sobha Realty training centre ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League round of 16 second leg clash with Porto at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners go into the game needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit after a disappointing defeat in the first leg at Estadio do Dragao. Arteta’s side were outsmarted by a canny Porto side in Portugal, but Arsenal are keen to learn from their mistakes

Their job could be made tougher by doubts over Gabriel Martinelli’s fitness. The Brazilian is struggling with a foot injury. This was one of the topics that Arteta spoke about. Read every word he had to say below.

Not many updates. We still have 24 hours and we’re trying to have everyone fit for tomorrow

How do you view the title race after City vs Liverpool?

It’s great to be top that’s for sure. It was an amazing game, with amazing teams, with so many alternatives. I think it’s an amazing situation when you look at the level that both have that we’re still there and we’re still top. So the ambition raises. We want to continue to be there. We have to go game by game.

Can you describe the bond within the group after winning for Ramsdale vs Brentford?

The unity around the players is amazing. It’s organic, it’s natural. They really feel for each other. When they have the chance to make somebody look better and get somebody out of trouble they’re willing to do it. It was a great example of the quality of the team and the people that we have within it.

What will you have to do different from the last Porto leg?

We’re certainly going to have to tweak a few things to generate much more than we did. It’s the level of the Champions League. You’re facing top teams. The fact that there are two game plays in your mind and we have to be better tomorrow.

What would it mean to you to guide the team into the last eight?

That’s the opportunity that we have tomorrow. In front of our people, in our stadium for 96 minutes. Bring your energy, bring your noise and let’s do it together.

Do you think the fans will be crucial tomorrow?

I think the impact that they can make tomorrow is incredible. I don’t think they realise. We need that noise, we need them playing every ball with us and we need that emotional control as well to understand that the game will go through certain phases and we have to be really intelligent to get what we want. It’s a beautiful opportunity to live one of those nights. It’s been 14 years so everything that we put in there is going to be worth it.

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