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Zinchenko and Trossard give Arsenal a double injury boost ahead of Crystal Palace clash



Arsenal received a fitness boost ahead of Sunday’s game against Crystal Palace, with Leandro Trossard and Oleksandr Zinchenko expected to be fit.

The Gunners can extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to eight points with a win over a Palace side who won’t have Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira on the touchline. Vieira was relieved of his duties as Palace manager on Friday following their 1-0 defeat at Brighton & Hove Albion earlier in the week, leaving them just three points clear of the relegation zone.

Mikel Arteta has a series of fitness problems ahead of the Emirates clash after Thursday night’s Europa League exit against Sporting CP which saw them go all the way to extra time and penalties. Both Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba limped off injured in the first half, with the former lifting off the ground on crutches and the latter needing control. However, Arsenal should be able to call both Trossard and Zinchenko despite the latest concerns on Thursday. Trossard was seen moving cautiously, while Zinchenko held onto his hamstring as the match drew to a close.

Luckily for the Gunners, both appear to have escaped unscathed, with Daily Express reporter Ryan Taylor saying they will be fit, with Zinchenko’s problem possibly cramping. He also claimed that Gabriel Jesus’ half-time substitution was premeditated and therefore the Brazilian could be eligible to start in the Premier League for the first time since before the World Cup break in November.

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William Saliba happy to focus on Arsenal title bid as contract talks continue

William Saliba insists he is “so happy” at Arsenal as contract negotiations continue behind the scenes of an increasingly compelling Premier League title bid.
The Gunners are eight points clear at the top after a 2-0 derby win at Tottenham on Sunday.

An own goal from Hugo Lloris and a long-range effort from captain Martin Odegaard secured Arsenal’s first-ever victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and propelled them higher up the table.

France international Saliba has played a big role in the club’s revival after making his debut earlier in the season after being loaned out three times from north London.

His performances have been so high that he is set to sign a new contract with Arsenal and he is ready to continue the talks in the background as Mikel Arteta’s side seek glory. “We are delighted because the derby is an important match, and it was also an away game,” he said.
“We know it’s not easy to win here, so we are so happy. We didn’t concede a goal and scored two.

“We are focused on ourselves. We are not targeting our rivals. We have to continue like this and only focus on ourselves.
“I’m so happy here. The club are talking to my agent and me, the only thing I can do is (focus on my football). I’m so happy here.”

After Spurs’ victory, Arteta said a continued title challenge “would need almost perfection” for the rest of the season, with Saliba now hitting back with a win over Manchester United – the only team Arsenal should beat this season – looking for the next weekend.

“It’s never enough,” he replied when asked what it meant to be eight points clear at this stage. “We know we have a lot of games to play. We have to be focused because things can change quickly. If we lose a game we can’t have confidence afterwards, so we have to be focused to go ahead and try to win. We focus on ourselves.

“There is no pressure. It’s better to have that pressure when you’re up than when you’re down. It’s better to continue like this and we don’t need to be under pressure.

“We know we have a big game next week. We know they beat us. They are the only team to have beaten us in the Premier League this season and we want to beat them again at home. “We will prepare for this match very well, I think, and I hope we win in front of our fans. We will continue. We didn’t know about it before (Arsenal could win the championship), but when summer started, I said tell me we can do something “.