Mikel Arteta named three players likely to miss the first leg of ArsenalCarabao Cup semi-final with Liverpool. Granit Xhaka, Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu are all suspected for Thursday’s blockbuster clash.
Xhaka recently tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time and it remains to be seen whether he will recover in time. Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu suffered from groin and calf problems, respectively. All three players also missed Arsenal’s 0-1 loss to Nottingham Forest on Sunday night (9/1), knocking them out of the FA Cup.
Speaking after the game, Arteta said he still doesn’t know when the trio can return. When asked about Xhaka’s readiness for the match against Liverpool, he said (as quoted by News Arseblog):
“I don’t know. It will depend on the next few games and how he feels.”
The Spanish strategist was also asked about Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu, and he replied:
“Again, it depends. They were injured and they couldn’t play. Gabi [Magalhaes] was suspended. I’ll have to see how they do in the next few days. ”
Smith Rowe is arguably Arsenal’s best player this season. The England international has scored nine goals and provided two assists in 21 games in all competitions. Meanwhile, Xhaka would be a major shortcoming in defensive midfield as Arteta’s side were without Thomas Partey, who was on national duty.
Tomiyasu, who arrived last summer, has been a revelation at right-back for the Gunners. The Japanese player has helped strengthen Arsenal’s defence, keeping nine clean sheets in the 16 he started for the team. Tomiyasu also had a assist.
Arteta hopes all three players can return to full fitness in time for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Liverpool.
Liverpool will also be without some key players for the Arsenal clash
Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s men may also have a few absentees ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Anfield.
Liverpool have recently experienced a COVID-19 outbreak that caused the first leg against Arsenal to be postponed. But Klopp confirmed that some cases were found to be false positives after the second round of testing.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, however, is believed to have tested positive both times and could miss the clash with the Gunners. Thiago Alcantara remains injured but fortunately for Liverpool, Takumi Minamino returned to action in the 4-1 FA Cup win over Shrewsbury.
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In the end, the Red Devils will not have Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita. The trio are currently representing their national teams in the Africa Cup of Nations.
https://www.sportskeeda.com/football/news-again-depends-arsenal-manager-arteta-provides-injury-update-3-players-ahead-liverpool-clash?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda ‘Again, it depends’ – Arsenal manager Arteta provides three-player injury updates ahead of Liverpool clash