Interview

Arteta on Auba's fitness and rotation vs Newcastle

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Mikel Arteta has a delicate balancing act to consider as we face Newcastle United on Sunday in the Premier League.

With the match coming four days before the second leg of our Europa League semi-final second leg against Newcastle, how will he approach the game?

"Let’s see who is available," he said. "We had a really demanding game again, the boys have had so many minutes so we will assess them tomorrow in the training session and see how everyone is, and try to get the line-up right.

"The Premier League is the competition where it is not in our hands to achieve what we wanted to do, because there are other teams in front of us.

"The only thing we can control is our performances and results and this is our main focus. Then we know that the semi-final is the crucial moment of the season."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had recovered enough from contracting malaria to be able to step off the bench in Villarreal - so could he get some more minutes against Newcastle?

"He hasn’t trained much, he is still not at the level in his physique that he should be to start," Arteta said. "We will see again tomorrow how he is. Yesterday he could only play a few minutes but we managed to get him on the pitch, which is great news for us."

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