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Mikel Arteta watches friendly between Arsenal and Brentford
Mikel Arteta oversaw a makeshift XI against Brentford on Wednesday (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal are sweating over the availability of several first-team players for Monday’s Premier League clash away to Crystal Palace after hosting a behind-closed-doors friendly on Wednesday.

Not for the first time during an international break, manager Mikel Arteta organised a match for players who were not involved with their countries – with Brentford B visiting London Colney.

The Gunners secured a relatively routine 4-1 victory, with striker Alexandre Lacazette netting a hat-trick, but the absence of two players in particular has Arsenal fans panicking.

Mikel Arteta watches friendly between Arsenal and Brentford
Arteta addresses the players who took on Brentford B (Picture: Getty)

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale played no part in the match, having been forced to withdraw from the England squad after missing Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa nearly a fortnight ago.

Takehiro Tomiyasu was not selected by Japan for the international break due to a long-running calf injury problem which has kept him out of the Arsenal side, and he was also not involved against Brentford.

According to The Times, Arteta is sweating over the fitness of both players and there is a fear they could miss Monday’s trip to Palace.

Ramsdale has responded well to treatment on his hip injury but will have his fitness and movement assessed on Saturday to determine whether he can be involved.

As things stand, Bernd Leno is expected to keep his place in the team – having kept a clean sheet against Villa last time out – and the German was part of the makeshift XI that took on Brentford B.

Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale
It will be touch-and-go for Ramsdale to face Palace (Picture: Getty)

Other notable names in that line up were Rob Holding, Nuno Tavares, Charlie Patino, Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, with the rest of the squad made up of youth players.

With Arteta reluctant to rush Tomiyasu back for fear of him breaking down again, his absence against Brentford suggests Cedric Soares will remain at right-back against Palace.

Arsenal fans might have hoped to see Bukayo Saka in the line-up, with the winger having left the England camp a week ago after testing positive for coronavirus, but he is still expected to be fine to play against Palace despite his no-show on Wednesday.

MORE : Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette scores hat-trick in Brentford friendly

MORE : ‘They’re not going to compete’ – Gary Neville explains why Mikel Arteta could leave Arsenal this summer

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

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Source: Metro Sport

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