Arsenal ‘hopeful’ Kieran Tierney can make injury return against Watford, says Scotland boss Steve Clarke

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·2-min read
Arsenal ‘hopeful’ Kieran Tierney can make injury return against Watford, says Scotland boss Steve Clarke
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Arsenal are hopeful that influential defender Kieran Tierney could make his return from injury against Watford this weekend, according to Scotland manager Steve Clarke.

The former Celtic left-back has missed the Gunners’ last three matches with an ankle issue, last featuring in the 2-2 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace on October 18.

There had initially been hope that Tierney could return either in the Carabao Cup fourth-round win over Leeds or the subsequent 3-1 top-flight victory at Leicester, though he ended up sitting out both those games.

Arsenal face Claudio Ranieri's Watford on Sunday in their final match before the next international break and manager Mikel Arteta admitted last weekend that he did not know when one of his most important players would return.

"He is still in pain. He is not comfortable when he is running, so he was struggling," Arteta said.

“We are trying to help him as much as possible. We need him back and I don’t know when that will be."

However, Clarke struck a more upbeat tone on Tuesday, insisting Arsenal are hopeful that Tierney will play some part against Watford.

He is also confident that the 24-year-old will be involved in Scotland's final pair of World Cup qualifiers.

Clarke's side travel to face Moldova in Chisinau next Friday (November 12) before hosting Denmark at Hampden Park three days later.

 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Scotland have won each of their last four matches after surviving a scare in the Faroe Islands last month and still have their World Cup destiny in their own hands in Group F.

"I think Kieran will be on the plane and, if he's on the plane, he'll be fit," Clarke told reporters.

"That's my opinion but look, you have to respect the club” and the club are telling us he's working his way back to fitness.

"They're hopeful he could be involved this weekend (against Watford) but if he (only) gets a few days training in, then fine. We don't play until a week on Friday, so he's got time on his side. I expect that Kieran will be fit."

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