Thomas Partey may have dropped a big hint about possibly returning to the Arsenal starting XI for tonight’s clash against Chelsea.
The big midweek clash from the Premier League is a repeat of last season’s FA Cup final as the Gunners travel to Stamford Bridge to face the Blues in a London derby.
Arsenal emerged victorious at Wembley Stadium nine months ago thanks to a brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and also won the reverse Premier League fixture 3-1 back in December at the Emirates Stadium.
But it’s safe to say both teams have gone in completely different directions ever since.
Chelsea sacked Frank Lampard a month later, replaced him with Thomas Tuchel and are looking good for another top-four finish.
Not to mention they’re also in the finals of both the FA Cup and Champions League.
Meanwhile, the Gunners will end the season trophyless and aren’t even certain of a top-half finish which means no European football next term is a real possibility for the first time in over two decades.
But as it is still mathematically possible to finish in the top seven, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wants to see his side claim a big scalp in the double finalists.
“Probably they’ve been the best team in the league in the last few months, what Thomas [Tuchel] has been able to do since he arrived has been exceptional,” Arteta said in his pre-match press conference.
“He put the team in two finals, the way the team is looking, how solid they are defensively as well, how composed and regular they have been in their performance has been excellent.
“I think it is the pride in the shirt that we wear [that motivates us], and that we want to win.
“Winning is going to put us in a much better position in the table, which is going to make us… the chance to finish where is mathematically possible, but it doesn’t depend on us at the moment.”
The Gunners will need to be at their best to get a positive result against Chelsea, so does that mean Partey is in line for a return to the starting lineup after being a substitute for the 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion last time out?
That may be the case as if his social media activity is anything to go by.
Taking to Instagram, the 27-year-old has done his best to hype up the big game in west London which could suggest he’s in line for a recall.
Interestingly, the likes of Willian, Nicolas Pepe, and Gabriel Magalhaes have done similar whenever they’ve been included in an Arsenal matchday squad this season.
However, it should be noted that Partey has also done this in the past for games that he’s missed.
Source by Football London