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Mikel Arteta speaks out on fan protests & provides brief Arsenal team news update ahead of Villareal

Mikel Arteta speaks out on fan protests & provides brief Arsenal team news update ahead of Villareal

Arsenal vs Villarreal

Arsenal are set to play out what is the biggest game of their season so far on Thursday evening.

After a pretty dire domestic campaign, the Gunners’ only real chance of securing European football next term now lies in the Europa League.

Arsenal are into the semi-finals of the competition. However, they would lose their first semi-final leg 2-1 against Unai Emery’s Villarreal.

The north Londoners, however, did manage to net a crucial away goal – meaning they could win 1-0 at the Emirates and still progress into the final against Manchester United or Roma.

Mikel Arteta speaks out on fan protests & provides brief Arsenal team news update ahead of Villareal

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 23: Arsenal fans chant and hold placards during a protest against the club’s owner Stan Kroenke ahead of the Premier League match between Arsenal and Everton, outside Emirates Stadium on April 23, 2021 in London, England. The protest, which takes place amid growing discontent over the running Arsenal FC, was sparked by the club’s recent involvement in the European Super League. There was uproar from football fans across the country earlier this week when six major Premier League football clubs, including Arsenal, announced that they were to join the controversial “closed-shop” tournament. Each club has subsequently withdrawn from the competition. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta provides Arsenal team news update

Ahead of Thursday’s game, Mikel Arteta would hold his latest pre-match press conference on Wednesday morning.

When speaking to the media, Arteta discussed a number of topics, including fan protests.

On the back of the European Super League collapse, Arsenal fans protested against their owners, KSE, last month prior to their clash with Everton.

And when quizzed on fan protests on Wednesday, the Spaniard stated:

“They have to be able to express themselves. They have the right to do it. We will try to prepare the game in the best possible way. I know the only purpose of the fans is to defend the club and they want the best for the team.”

Elsewhere, Arteta provided a brief team news update on his side. David Luiz is not ruled out of Thursday’s game, whilst the Arsenal boss remained rather coy over Kieran Tierney’s potential involvement:

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This article was edited by Tom Canton.

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# Team MP D P
1 Arsenal London 0 0 0
2 Aston Villa 0 0 0
3 Brentford London 0 0 0
4 Brighton & Hove Albion 0 0 0
5 Burnley FC 0 0 0
6 Chelsea London 0 0 0
7 Crystal Palace 0 0 0
8 Everton FC 0 0 0
9 Leeds United 0 0 0
10 Leicester City 0 0 0
11 Liverpool FC 0 0 0
12 Manchester City 0 0 0
13 Manchester United 0 0 0
14 Newcastle United 0 0 0
15 Norwich City 0 0 0
16 Southampton FC 0 0 0
17 Tottenham Hotspur 0 0 0
18 Watford FC 0 0 0
19 West Ham United 0 0 0
20 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 0 0
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