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Saliba still sidelined as Arteta looks to correct title course at West Ham
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William Saliba has not featured since Arsenal's Europa League exit at the hands of Sporting CP
William Saliba has not featured since Arsenal's Europa League exit at the hands of Sporting CP

William Saliba will not return from injury when Premier League leaders Arsenal look to get back to winning ways at West Ham on Sunday, Mikel Arteta has confirmed.

Arsenal dropped two valuable points in the title race at Liverpool last time out, with goals from Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino capping a memorable fightback from the hosts in a 2-2 draw.

While the Gunners boast a six-point lead over Manchester City at the summit, they have not kept a clean sheet since defender Saliba was injured in last month's Europa League penalty shoot-out defeat to Sporting CP. 

Saliba has missed Arsenal's last three games with a back problem and will be absent again on Sunday, though Arteta will have striker Eddie Nketiah available for the first time since March 1.

"William is still not available," Arteta said. "He's progressing well and we are hopeful we'll have him available in the next few weeks, but we'll have to see. Eddie is back and is fully fit now.

"We want our players to be as fit as possible and available. We've had some issues, especially in the last few months with some important players. 

"We just want to have everybody fit and available to help the team."

After surrendering fourth place to rivals Tottenham at the end of last season, Arsenal were not viewed as likely title contenders ahead of the current campaign.

However, with just eight games potentially separating Arsenal from their first league title since the 2003-04 season, Arteta will not allow the Gunners to rest on their laurels.

Asked whether he foresaw a title challenge in the earlier stages of his tenure, Arteta said: "Yes. You go day by day. There is so much that happens every single day, every month at a football club. 

"The aim when I took the job was to bring the club back to where it belongs, fighting for and being around every single trophy that is possible at the highest level. That's what we are trying to do.

"We are happy with where we are. Now we have to finish the job and demand an extra bit from everybody."

Ahead of their visit to the London Stadium, Arsenal have won on all five of their trips to fellow London clubs in the Premier League this season, by an aggregate score of 11-0.

Only twice in their league history have the Gunners won a sixth successive London derby on their travels, doing so in February 1989 and March 2014.


Premier LeagueArsenalWest Ham UnitedWilliam Saliba
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