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Emery offers positive Arsenal injury update on Iwobi, Lichtsteiner & Maitland-Niles

22:37 GMT+3 24/02/2019
Alex Iwobi Arsenal 2018-19
The Gunners boss is confident that he will have three senior stars available to him for a Premier League clash with Bournemouth on Wednesday

Unai Emery was without Ainsley Maitland-Niles against Southampton and saw Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Iwobi limp out of a 2-0 win, but all three are expected to be ready for midweek duty.

The Gunners have had to contend with their fair share of injury struggles over recent weeks.

It appeared as though two more bodies would be heading for the treatment table after a vital win over the Saints which has lifted Arsenal back into the Premier League’s top four.

Emery is, however, confident that his walking wounded – and Maitland-Niles who has been struggling with illness – will be in contention to face Bournemouth on Wednesday.

The Spaniard said of Nigeria international midfielder Iwobi: “I hope it’s only one knock and not a more important injury. I hope he can play Wednesday.”

He added on the versatile Swiss defender: “Lichtsteiner has back pain but I think he can also be okay for Wednesday.”

And on a 21-year-old academy graduate, he said: “I hope also Maitland-Niles can be ready for Wednesday.”

For now, Arsenal are able to reflect on a positive result which has them back in the driving seat for Champions League qualification.

Emery said of that battle: “For us, the first competition is the Premier League because it’s giving us the possibility to be consistent. It’s the first target for us, but also the Europa League.

“The Premier League is giving us consistency and at the moment I think we are feeling strong at home. Away in the last match we won away at Huddersfield, but I think we need more consistency away. We know that.”

The Gunners have the chance to find that consistency as the games are set to come thick and fast, with Premier League fixtures being complemented by Europa League outings – with a 3-1 aggregate victory over BATE in that competition having booked a last-16 date with Rennes.

Emery added: “We have the habit to play a lot of matches in one week.

“I think today I am happy because I said to them, Thursday I was very proud of them after how they worked in a very difficult match for the result. Also, it was a dangerous match with the result of the first leg losing 1-0.

“Today we decided to do some changes in the squad and it’s very important to carry on with our intensity and performance with different players.

“We need to be together and we can feel stronger with every player, and the possibility of using different players in different matches with the intensity that we want to play.”