Arsenal players forced to isolate after home game! AFC news ahead of Benfica game

By Bulldog Drumond

Previously: Arsenal v Benfica; where it’s at, what’s the co-efficient, what happened, who’s injured?

It appears that English clubs that travel overseas, and players who leave England to play for their country anywhere in the world (presumably including Scotland) during the next international break will have to self-isolate for 10 days on their return.  Except they will be able to train and play in games during that period.

And except (also)  those who have a negative test upon return to the UK only have to isolate themselves for five days.

Given that Arsenal’s home game tonight is being played in Greece because of the insistence of the Home Office, it seems Arsenal it seems Arsenal are now going to be punished twice for something that is not of their making.  Had the rule against playing a Portuguese team not been in place Arsenal players would have no restrictions after tonight’s match.

It’s a match in which we will be looking for Pepe and Saka to score and/or assist.  Pepe has been directly involved in ten of Arsenal’s 37 goals in the Europa since the start of last season while Saka has been involved in nine (scoring three and with six assists).  It would be a little surprising if either of the players don’t take part.

Of course, this is Arsenal playing so the Daily Mirror is doing its normal pre-match negativity, this time telling us in a screaming headline about “Kieran Tierney’s moment of fury in Arsenal training after being called out by David Luiz.”

It was seemingly about the fact that he allegedly touched the ball twice in a one-touch practice game.  Of course for any other team such a trivial matter would not be turned into “news,” let alone “news” which is bedecked by the word “fury” but this is Arsenal and this is the Mirror.  So Fury it is.

Elsewhere we have


Which is HITC’s way of telling us that Partey won’t be risked in tonight’s game as he recovers from injury.

This is contradicted by “Arsenal receive Thomas Partey boost as Mikel Arteta decides on Hector Bellerin transfer deal,” from the always amusing Football.London produced by the Daily Mirror as a location for its leftovers.  They say, “Midfield enforcer Thomas Partey has been included in the Arsenal squad that will face Benfica in Athens this evening, can reveal.”

I suppose I could write Football.London makes all its stories up, Untold Arsenal can’t reveal.  And we can’t reveal it because we don’t know if it is true that they make them ALL up.

Newsnow has a rather amusing headline however with Arsenal held at home by Tamale   It turns out this comes the the Ghana Football Association but somehow sneaked its way into their list of Arsenal (the London team) headlines.  Ah well, it lightens the day.

And the Hard Tackle website tells us that Arsenal have decided to sell Reiss Nelson.

Plus there is the headline What happens to Mikel Arteta if Benfica win? from paininthearsenal.  Their view is that if Arsenal don’t go through to the next round that would be catastrophic but not fatal.  The argument is that Arsenal have invested so much in Arteta that they can’t afford to get rid of him.

Up next, the team selections.