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Mikel Arteta provides fresh update on Hector Bellerin ahead of Crystal Palace clash

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has provided a fitness update on Hector Bellerin ahead of the club’s Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on the road on Saturday.

The Spain international has been out of action for nearly a month with a tight hamstring and a recent update from the club stated that he would be assessed ahead of the London derby.

However, speaking in the pre-match press conference, Arteta has highlighted that there are no positives on the injury front and Bellerin, who trained partially with the first-team, needs more time to make his comeback

“No news really, I don’t think we will get anyone back in the squad, we have a few that are going to be 50/50 for the following game probably but not much news. Hector is a little bit better. He trained partially with the team today, but he’s still not there,” he told.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been the regular choice on the right side of the defence for the Gunners over the past month and the club graduate will be expected to start in the position for the seventh league game on the bounce.

With the long-term injury for Calum Chambers, the Gunners don’t have a specialist right-back in the senior squad to compete with Maitland-Niles but Sokratis, who is normally a centre-back by trade, featured in the role during Monday’s FA Cup third round win over Leeds United.

Arsenal are currently placed 10th in the Premier League standings and they are presently nine points adrift of the Champions League positions. The top-four remains a distant target at the moment but they can turn things around by building a winning streak.

The Gunners have not managed to beat the Eagles in the past three league meetings where they have picked up only two points. The club have conceded three penalties during this period and Arteta, in his press conference, has admitted that his players need to handle the threat of Wilfried Zaha better in order to guard against conceding spotkicks.

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