The Scotland international complained of muscle pain ahead of the game and was left out of the starting XI.
Mikel Arteta says he didn’t want to take any chances with Kieran Tierney as the full-back was ruled out in Thursday night’s Premier League clash against Crystal palace.
Tierney, 23, has been a regular with the Gunners’ first team this season and has one goal and two assists to his name in 21 appearances in all competitions.
The Scotland defender played the full 120 minutes, beating Newcastle 2-0 after extra time FA Cup third round clash on Saturday.
Arteta says that Scotland The international complained of some discomfort ahead of the midweek home game against Roy Hodgson’s side, explaining why Ainsley Maitland-Niles started at left-back when Tierney was ruled out of the team.
“Well he had muscle aches, he didn’t recover well, he wasn’t comfortable to start the game and in this period we can’t take the risk,” said the coach. Sky Sports before kick-off.
Midfielder Thomas Partey, with a hip injury since his team’s loss to Tottenham, and center-back Gabriel, absent since mid-December, have been included in the list of substitutes for the meeting in north London.
“Gabi is feeling a lot better, he’s had a full week of training,” said Arteta.
“Thomas has been trying to push us for about a week as well and I think he can have a few minutes as well today. Good news for getting some people back.”
Despite having recovered from an ankle injury to start Arsenal’s last four games, Spain’s center-back Pablo Mari has been left out of the squad.
Arsenal are 11th in the Premier League ahead of Thursday’s clash, having collected 23 points in 17 matches, leaving them 13 points adrift of the leaders Manchester United.
Arteta’s men are on a four-game winning streak across the league and the FA Cup and have kept three clean sheets in a row.
Palace, meanwhile, is 13th in the table and has won only one victory in its last seven games in all competitions. Three days after their visit to the Gunners, Palace will travel north to face off Manchester city in the league.