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Sky reporter shares the ‘feeling’ about Bukayo Saka injury

Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill claims that Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka’s injury may not be as bad as suggested.

Bukayo Saka went off injured in Arsenal’s defeat to Lens but Gunners fans have been given hope of him featuring against Manchester City.

That is according to Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill, who was in attendance at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis on Tuesday night.

Arsenal took a first-half lead as Saka set up Gabriel Jesus to fire past Brice Samba.

Lens hit back through with Adrien Thomasson equalising before an Elye Wahi winner handed Lens a 2-1 victory.

RC Lens v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Bukayo Saka injury played down amid Arsenal fears

The defeat is of course a blow, but most Arsenal fans are probably more worried about Saka’s injury.

The wide man went down in the first half and was immediately taken off with Arsenal fearing the worst.

Mikel Arteta somewhat stoked those fears by telling Norwegian reporter Arilas Ould-Saada that Saka’s injury ‘does not look good’.

Arsenal take on Manchester City this weekend and there are concerns that Saka could now miss out.

However, Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill has suggested that the feeling in France last night was that Saka’s injury may not be all that bad.

Cotterill noted that this was not an official line by any stretch but that the feeling was that Saka was maybe taken off as a precaution.

Highlighting that Arteta didn’t want to take any risks ahead of facing City, Cotterill didn’t want to give Arsenal fans false hope but didn’t get the sense that this was a huge injury.

“I don’t want to give Arsenal and England fans false hope,” said Cotterill. “But the feeling around here, and not at all official, is that Saka may not be too bad. Perhaps a muscle strain or maybe a precaution.”

“The club have made it clear Mikel Arteta will take no chances with any player tonight, with Manchester City around the corner,” he added.

RC Lens v Arsenal FC: Group B - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Could Arteta be playing mind games?

Facing City this weekend is absolutely enormous for Arsenal; a win here and the Premier League title dreams will gather even more momentum.

Every little could help in this game and maybe Arteta is trying to get into the head of his former mentor Pep Guardiola.

Talking up the Saka injury may leave City to believe that he won’t be playing, leaving the door open for Arsenal to spring a surprise by naming him in the starting lineup.

It’s a plan we have seen so many times from various managers over the years, but you have to question whether Guardiola would fall for that.

You don’t get to the heights Guardiola has without immaculate preparation and the City boss will no doubt plan his setup to face an Arsenal side both with and without Saka.

Sunday’s game will be a fascinating occasion but we would much rather see a player of Saka’s quality taking part – if fit – than sat on the sidelines.

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