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Arsenal receive a massive injury blow as they prepare to face Slavia Prague: Does Arteta have a backup?

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Martin Odegaard EPL side Arsenal
Martin Odegaard to EPL side Arsenal

Arsenal get back into the Europa League this week where they take on Slavia Prague in the first leg of the quarter-final and it looks like Martin Odegaard might be an absentee for this game.

Odegaard has been a key figure in the side over the past few weeks and was a guaranteed starter for Thursday’s game at the Emirates. But the Norwegian cannot seem to shake off the injury he had picked up during the international break.

And the Gunners have now confirmed that the playmaker will go through a late fitness test to see if he is available for the first leg or not.

The report claimed: “Right ankle. Martin has been experiencing discomfort to his right ankle since being on international duty.

“Martin is being assessed ahead of Thursday’s match regarding his availability.”

After the early team news, in his press conference, the manager went on to add: “We will assess today how he’s feeling. He’s been carrying an injury for the last two or three days since he got injured with the national team.

“We have a few of them from the last game when we played Liverpool, so today will be the day where we see where everybody is at, and look at who is available tomorrow.”

If Martin Odegaard misses out then it will be a really big blow for the manager but thankfully, Emile Smith Rowe has returned to training and is available for selection on Thursday. If the Real Madrid loanee is not ready then Smith Rowe will be playing in the attacking midfielder’s role.

Mikel Arteta will love to rest Odegaard in midweek but Slavia are a really strong side and they have already beaten teams like Leicester City and Rangers in the Europa League.

The other injury absentees and full recoveries include:

David Luiz

Right knee. David Luiz underwent a small procedure on his right knee at the weekend. The intervention went well and David is rehabilitating with the medical team.

David is expected to be back to full fitness and available for selection in the upcoming weeks.

Kieran Tierney

Left knee. Kieran sustained ligament damage to his left knee during Saturday’s match against Liverpool. Surgery will not be required and it’s hoped that Kieran will be back in full training within four to six weeks.

Bukayo Saka

Right hamstring. Bukayo is now back in full training and available for selection.

Emile Smith Rowe

Right thigh/quad. Emile is now back in full training and available for selection.

Granit Xhaka

Unwell. Granit is now back in full training and available for selection.

Injury updates provided by Arsenal.com.

Read: 4-2-3-1 Arsenal’s predicted line-up vs Slavia Prague.

Read: Here’s how Arsenal could look to get things back on track.

Read: Pundit urges Arteta to take the Arsene Wenger route in order to revive Arsenal.

Read: Are these players really to blame for Arsenal’s horror show vs Liverpool?