Arsenal take on Liverpool in the Carabao Cup semi-final and before this high-profile match, Mikel Arteta is sweating over the fitness of some key first-team players.
The Gunners were recently knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest and things could get even worse since Arteta might have a depleted side for the 1st leg of the Carabao Cup.
Arsenal are currently without midfielder Granit Xhaka who is recovering from COVID while Emile Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu remain injury concerns. And speaking ahead of the Liverpool vs Arsenal game, Mikel Arteta has admitted that the situation does not look good at all.
“It is extremely volatile and uncertain, I don’t know what the situation is that we will have today or if it is different to yesterday,” said Arteta on Wednesday, as reported.
“Obviously I cannot get into any detail with that. It is what it is, in the last week or so we lost so many players for many different reasons and we are trying to adapt to that.
“I will use the players that we have and make the most out of it.
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“They have been different reasons, some injuries, some Covid, some absences with players that have to be away with the Africa Cup of Nations. So different reasons.
“You can never guarantee anything because you know things can change dramatically in 10 seconds when the doctor comes to the door and gives you the news, and we have experienced that already twice this season. Our willingness is always to play.”
Liverpool vs Arsenal: A midfielder crisis for Mikel Arteta?
Granit Xhaka has just recovered from COVID while Thomas Partey and Elneny have joined their respective sides for the AFCON. This means the manager could have a major problem in setting up his midfield for the Liverpool vs Arsenal game.
If Xhaka remains unavailable due to fitness issues then someone like Odegaard might have to slot into central midfield alongside Lokonga.
Hopefully, Emile Smith Rowe will be fit in time or else Gabriel Martinelli or Alexandre Lacazette will be deployed in the attacking midfielder’s role on Thursday with Eddie Nketiah playing up front.
The postponement of the 1st leg means Fabinho has gotten a chance to make a full recovery and with so many Arsenal injury concerns, the Anfield outfit are tipped to come out on top.