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Arsenal news: Granit Xhaka gives Gabriel Jesus update amid sickness issue ahead of Fulham

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Arsenal are preparing to face Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday after returning from Portugal after their Europa League exploits.

The Gunners were held to a 2-2 draw by Sporting Lisbon on Thursday night in an entertaining first leg of their last-16 tie. Although Mikel Arteta has been reluctant to rotate his squad too much this season, the match did see starts for Matt Turner, Jakub Kiwior, Fabio Vieira and Reiss Nelson.

Arteta will be reverting back to his strongest side on Sunday, with the trip to Craven Cottage a clear priority for Arsenal as they chase a first Premier League title in 19 years. They know a tough test awaits, with Marco Silva’s side in excellent form of late.

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Xhaka gives Jesus update

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Arsenal will probably be without both Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard for the trip across London to Fulham due to injury. That is likely to mean a central role again for Gabriel Martinelli, who moved in off the wing against Sporting.

Gabriel Jesus is back training after picking up a knee injury at the World Cup, but missed the trip to Portugal. He is unlikely to be fit enough for the Fulham game – and Granit Xhaka is desperate for him to return.

“We lost Eddie as well, so it’s much more important to have Gabi back,” he said on Thursday night. “Leo as well is injured and he can play in this position.

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“Step by step, I hope that Gabi will be 100 per cent fit to help this team because we know that he can help us. With his attitude, with his personality, he is very, very important for us.”

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Arsenal were without captain Martin Odegaard and Kieran Tierney in Portugal due to a sickness bug which has swept the camp.

Vieira was also withdrawn from press duties on Wednesday after feeling unwell. He managed to play the following day, but the illness was a concern.

Thankfully for Arsenal, it seems to have faded from view. Odegaard is expected to play against Fulham and Tierney is likely to be on the bench, as part of the matchday squad.

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Reiss Nelson

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Nelson’s dramatic winning goal at Bournemouth was a huge moment in Arsenal’s season – and potentially in the Premier League title race – but it was not available for millions of football fans in the UK to watch.

The 3pm blackout, which means matches cannot be broadcasted live on television between 2:45pm and 5:15pm on Saturday afternoons, was introduced in the 1960s and remains to this day.

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