Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta subbed off the 22-year-old in Arsenal's last two matches. In the Premier League game against Bournemouth, Saka came off the pitch with a hamstring issue with 14 minutes to go. He suffered a similar knock against Lens last Tuesday in the first half, forcing him to limp off the field with a “backheel” injury.
“He's in contention,” said Arteta in the pre-game press conference against City. “Let's see how he progresses from here to Sunday.”
Should Arteta have risked playing an injured Saka against Lens? Probably not, but everything is easier said in retrospect.
But now the team is approaching a challenging run of fixtures, and it might be missing one of its most dangerous players. Saka, who appeared in 87 consecutive appearances for Arsenal since May 2021, is a massive blow for the Gunners. Saka is the heart of the team's attack, and Arsenal looks lost in the midfield while he's out.
“We still have some great players, but I think every team in the world would miss Bukayo. But we have to see what happens in the next few days. Hopefully it's not too bad and he's going to be ready,” said Arsenal captain Marin Odegaard after the loss to Lens.
Saka's injury is another reminder of how vital it is for Arsenal to find a backup for the youngster. Arteta is scoping out potential candidates for the winter transfer window, including Wolverhampton's Pedro Neto.
Meanwhile, Arsenal also miss critical wing attackman Gabriel Martinelli for the City fixture. He and Saka missed today's end-of-training set-piece tactical training, which usually signifies the next game's starters.
Manchester City will also be without key players this weekend, including Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne. Defender John Stones remains questionable.