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Leeds United receive boost as Arsenal defender Saliba ruled out of Saturday clash

Leeds United’s chances of securing a positive result when they travel to north London to face league leaders Arsenal on Saturday have received a slight boost following confirmation that Gunners centre-back William Saliba is set to miss the match with injury.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed the news in his pre-match press conference today after much speculation about the Frenchman’s fitness status this week.

Saliba has not featured for the London side since picking up a back injury in his side’s defeat against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 earlier this month.

“He is progressing, unfortunately he still has some discomfort in his back,” Arteta said.

“He’s not going to be fit for this game and we’re trying to do everything to feel better. But not yet.”

Also in doubt for Arsenal is midfielder Thomas Partey, who remained an unnamed substitute in Ghana’s draw against Angola on Monday – with manager Chris Hughton claiming that he was benched due to a small injury issue.

Unlike Saliba, Partey has been pictured in the Gunners’ training sessions this week – along with defender Kieran Tierney whose status was also unknown following his substitution in Scotland’s 2-0 win over Spain on Tuesday night.

Striker Gabriel Jesus is also recovering well following a three-month absence – and will most likely appear on the bench on Saturday.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Eddie Nketiah (ankle) and Mohamed Elneny (knee) are all set to miss out.

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