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Arteta details coronavirus-related absences in Arsenal - Chelsea


LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta celebrates with David Luiz of Arsenal after the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Manchester United at Emirates Stadium on January 1, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Offside via Getty Images

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says COVID-19 protocols are the reason David Luiz, Willian, and Gabriel Magalhaes will miss Saturday’s London derby versus Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium (start time 12:30pm ET on NBC or online via

Luiz and Willian “were feeling unwell but both tested negative. Following the protocols, we kept them away. With Gabriel he was in touch with someone who tested positive.”


Arteta explained that the Gunners are simply following the rules in order to play their part.

He also says surprise starters Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith-Rowe are capable of doing enough to get a result.

“It is what it is. In this COVID world, this can happen to any team. It happened to us now with really bad timing but it’s the reason we have other players who will jump into that piece, trying their best and fighting.”

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