Arsenal v Huddersfield Town

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Press conference

‘Koscielny gives us experience and quality'

Koscielny

Laurent Koscielny will add “experience, quality and personality” when he makes his eagerly-awaited return to the first team.

The captain has not played for the senior side since rupturing an Achilles during our Europa League semi-final defeat at Atletico Madrid in April.

A lot has changed since then - not least the departure of Arsene Wenger and the arrival of Unai Emery. And Koscielny’s new coach says the Frenchman could be involved against Huddersfield.

“We are on a gradual way with him,” said Emery. “He’s played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday.

“Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League. He’s working with us with very big performances every day in training. He’s playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.

“He gives us experience, quality, personality,” added the head coach. “We need every player and we need also for him to train with us. The next step is playing. He can play with us and be with us normally.”

Pre-Match Report

Arsenal v Huddersfield Town: The Brief

During his media work on Thursday, Unai Emery was asked to name the greatest team he’s ever seen.

He picked Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.

They were, he said, “the best team with control over 90 minutes, possession and positioning… the best team for superiority and domination.”

They were also relentless. Pep’s Barca didn’t just turn it on for El Clasico or tricky trips to Atletico; they turned up every week against all comers.

It’s a habit Unai wants to instil in our team - and our fans. It’s all very well rising to the occasion against Tottenham and Manchester United, but the same passion and intensity will be required against Huddersfield on Saturday.

As Unai points out, “the draw [at Old Trafford] is only good if we win against Huddersfield. We must work, prepare, respect, push with our supporters at theEmirates and feel the spirit with them.”

In other words, give it everything. Every time.

You’re in the right place for a comprehensive pre-match briefing. Scroll down for Unai’s answers to your questions, the latest team news, match stats, and a chance to test your knowledge.

The Breakdown - Huddersfield
Emery quote - Huddersfield
Team News - Huddersfield
Dangerman - Huddersfield
AN Live - Huddersfield

 

The Arsenal Foundation

Arsenal Foundation dedicated matchday

We have donated Saturday's match against Huddersfield Town to The Arsenal Foundation, as the whole club has united to give together this Christmas.

 
Every year since our move to Emirates Stadium, the manager and men’s first team have donated a day’s wages over the Christmas period – and this year the women’s team will join the tradition.
 
As well as the playing side, staff from across the club have donated money and taken up volunteering opportunities in to ensure that everyone at Arsenal is giving together this Christmas.
 
Club partners and supporter groups have joined in with the giving spirit. Octopus Energy and the Gay Gooners are set to present a cheque before the game with funds they raised together at Pride.
 
There will be bucket collectors based around Emirates Stadium for supporters also wanting to play their part – and they will be joined by special guests prior to kick-off.

In addition to the fundraising opportunities, the match will also be a celebration of the great projects and beneficiaries that have been funded by The Arsenal Foundation.
 
Tony Mills and Helder Silva, who were funded to represent England at the Amputee World Cup earlier this year, will speak about their experience at half time, whilst the first team’s warm-up tops will bear the names of other projects and initiatives that have received funding. 
 
The Arsenal Foundation is in the privileged position to be able to inspire and support the people it works with through the Arsenal name.
 
This year The Arsenal Foundation and Save the Children have launched the ambitious Coaching for Life programme, which is initially being piloted in Indonesia and Jordan. Working as one team, the two organisations are combing expertise to help improve the mental wellbeing of children affected by conflict.
 
Since 2011 over £7 million has been raised for charities including the Willow Foundation, Islington Giving and Save the Children and built football pitches in some of the world’s most challenging communities.
 
With everyone giving together – we can do even more.
 
www.arsenal.com/donate

Gallery

Final preparations before visit of Huddersfield

We'll be looking for a second consecutive home win in seven days when Huddersfield Town visit Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The match is our dedicated Arsenal Foundation matchday - click here to find out more information.

Our squad returned to the pitches at Arsenal Training Centre today ahead of the game, as we look to extend an unbeaten run which has now reached 20 matches.

One of our club photographers was on hand to capture the session - and these are the images that were sent back.

Team news

Team news: Holding, Ramsey, Ozil, Koscielny

Rob Holding

Ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash against Huddersfield Town, here's the latest team news update from our medical team:

 
Rob Holding
Left knee. Returned to London during match on Wednesday night. Will have further tests and assessments over the next 48 hours. Further updates will be communicated in due course.
 
Aaron Ramsey
Right ankle. Being assessed ahead of Huddersfield Town (h) on Saturday, December 8.


Laurent Koscielny
Played 85 minutes for the under-21s against Portsmouth in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night. Came through match without complications. Being assessed ahead of Huddersfield Town (h) on Saturday, December 8.
 
Mesut Ozil
Back. Being assessed ahead of Huddersfield Town (h) on Saturday, December 8.
 
Nacho Monreal
Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Huddersfield Town (h) on Saturday, December 8.
  
Dinos Mavropanos
Groin injury. Expected to return to full training in December.
 
Danny Welbeck
Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

Interview

Unai - Why I like to make my subs early

Unai Emery

Early substitutions have been a key characteristic of the Unai Emery era, and they’ve made quite an impact.

In fact, our replacements have contributed more combined goals and assists than any other team in the Premier League this season - but has making changes early on always been our head coach’s way?

“I learned in Spain with one coach, Javi Irureta,” Emery said. “He trained in Deportivo La Coruna and had a big career as a coach. 

“[When] he was my coach, he said to us: 'When I change it is because I want some change. Maybe it is positive, maybe it is negative but [it is] change.' 

“This was the first idea I received and I do in my mind. At other teams I have coached, some criticism of me was I changed usually very late. Here for example you are saying I change usually quickly. 

“It depends on the moment, how the match is going, but one situation we are living here is in the first half we couldn't finish winning in the 15 matches in the Premier League. That is one reason, I need to [make changes].”