Arsenal

Timber to play, Martinelli recovers as Rice avoids Arsenal injury scare in dream 19-day break

Arsenal embark on a long period with no games with Gabriel Martinelli, Jurrien Timber and their international attendees all in focus.

Arsenal have entered yet another long period without a game following their Champions League success over FC Porto which sees them progress to the quarter-finals. Mikel Arteta spoke at the end of February after the Chelsea fixture was confirmed to be postponed that it would not affect him and his squad too badly.

“It is what it is,” he said. “We knew that it was an option and now we’ll plan to use that time in the best possible way because that would mean that we’d then have a more congested period in April.”

He added: “The difference is three or four more days. We’re going to have two-and-a-half or three weeks [without a game] and I don’t think that that is going to change the world.”

It is not known yet whether the team will be taking part in any training regimes like other Premier League sides with a weekend off have done. Nor do we know if a behind-closed-doors friendly will be used either

However, a dream scenario over the course of the next two-plus weeks without domestic action is the avoidance of injuries. Many of the Gunners’ players will indeed be off with their national sides with the likes of Bukayo Saka, Declan Rice, Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba and Kai Havertz to name but a few all getting game time.

Even though the majority of games being played are friendlies, there is always that worry. Gabriel Martinelli will no longer be with the Brazilian side though after withdrawing due to the cut to his foot keeping him out of Arsenal’s last two games

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