Arsenal are just a few hours away from taking on Liverpool and things just keep getting worse for Mikel Arteta.
The Gunners were without as many as 10 players when we faced Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup last weekend. Aubameyang, Partey, Pepe and Elneny are all away at AFCON, Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu were injured, Gabriel Magalhaes was suspended and Granit Xhaka had COVID.
Arteta was hoping that a few of his players would return for the game at Anfield tonight, but there’s bad news for the Arsenal boss.
Liverpool v Arsenal: Smith Rowe, Tomiyasu and Odegaard ruled out
Goal revealed earlier today that Arsenal are set to be without three very important players.
Emile Smith Rowe’s groin problem kept him out of the game against Forest. He has been struggling with that for a while now, and that is set to cost him a chance to play at Anfield in a few hours time.
Takehiro Tomiyasu’s calf problem continues to trouble him and he is expected to miss tonight’s game as well. That is a big blow as the Japan international is so important to the way we play.
The biggest blow, however, could be Martin Odegaard. Arsenal’s midfield is already short of numbers and the last thing we needed was another problem. Sadly, we’ll have to do without him as well tonight.
Big blow for Arteta?
A game away at Liverpool, where our record is truly awful, is as difficult a task as there is when we have a full-strength squad available.
Our fitness issues now make things 100 times worse now, which is not ideal.
Arsenal’s main aim tonight has to be to stay in the tie ahead of the second leg at home next week. A win would be absolutely incredible, but a draw or a one-goal defeat would not be too bad a result considering the circumstances.
It will be interesting to see how we line up tonight. The pressure is on Arteta to get his team right, but with so many players missing in the middle of the park, things could get really ugly.