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Why is Partey missing Arsenal’s clash with Watford?

Thomas Partey, Arsenal
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Arsenal fans were surprised to see Thomas Partey missing when the Gunners announced their lineup to face Watford in the Premier League.

Arsenal have revealed that Thomas Partey is out of the Watford match because of a tight groin.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles has replaced the Ghana international in midfield. It’s the only change manager Mikel Arteta has made from the lineup that defeated Leicester 2-0 last weekend.

Maitland-Niles joins Albert Sambi Lokonga in central midfield in Partey’s place. Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka will start on the flanks.

On the bright side, Kieran Tierney is on the bench. The Scot, who has missed the club’s last two fixtures, returned to training this week to put himself in contention. However, with Nuno Tavares impressing at left-back, Arteta has evidently played it safe by not rushing him back into the fold.

That said, the Gunners boss has left Martin Odegaard and Nicolas Pepe benched for the third game in a row.

Aaron Ramsdale, meanwhile, again starts in the goal. Gabriel and Ben White continue in the heart of the Arsenal defense, while Takehiro Tomiyasu again gets the nod to start at right-back.

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will again head the attack.