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FA Cup: Partey could return for Arsenal against Newcastle United


Arteta said Partey
Thomas Partey

Mikel Arteta has almost a full squad to choose from as FA Cup holders Arsenal play Newcastle in the third round.

Midfielder Thomas Partey, who signed for £45m from Atletico Madrid, could be in contention if he proves his fitness.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce intends to keep changes to a minimum with the club still feeling the after-effects of a recent coronavirus outbreak.

Martin Dubravka is set to start in goal, while Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis are ruled out through injury.

Captain Jamaal Lascelles was only given the green light to resume training this week after recovering from Covid-19, while forward Alain Saint-Maximin has returned to Tyneside but is still awaiting the all-clear.

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“We’re edging towards it [full fitness] but certainly Alain and Jamaal have been the ones who have suffered as much as anybody,” said manager Bruce.

He added that fielding youth teams in the FA Cup “devalues” the competition even in the midst of the pandemic.

  • ‘Spirit and energy’ back at Arsenal

Arsenal boss Arteta has come under scrutiny this season after a disappointing run of results saw his tenure in charge at the club questioned.

The north London club were in a relegation fight in the Premier League before securing nine points against West Brom, Brighton and Chelsea during the busy festive schedule.

“It’s great to win the last three games,” said Arteta.

“The spirit, the energy around the place and the vibe is always better. I feel better myself.

“In this Christmas period, to win three games in a row is never easy in this league and we’ve done it, so hopefully we can pick up a much better run.”



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