Arteta says Partey will be available for Benfica ‘if he’s feeling good’, Holding ruled out

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says Thomas Partey will be available for selection in the second leg of the Gunners’ Europa League Round of 32 clash with Benfica in Athens on Thursday if he is feeling good.

The first leg ended 1-1 in Rome last week and the North London side got the crucial away goal. They will look to secure their place in the Round of 16 when they face the Portuguese side later this week. Arteta’s side will go through as long as they either win the game or secure a goalless draw.

Partey has missed the Gunners’ last three games in all competitions but returned to full training on Tuesday. Arteta confirmed that the Ghana international has a final test in training on Wednesday and as long as he is feeling good, he will be in contention for the North London side’s crucial game against Benfica.

On Partey, Arteta said:

“Thomas is very close. He’s got a final test today in training. If he’s feeling good, he will be available to play the match.”

Rob Holding has not taken part in training as a result of the concussion he suffered in his side’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday. He has undergone a series of tests and is completely fine but will miss the game against Benfica as per the concussion protocols. 

On Holding, Arteta said:

“Regarding Rob, he’s not available. He had a concussion, we tested him and he’s completely fine but obviously now we need to follow the protocols and he won’t be able to travel.”

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