Arsenal have provided a fitness update on the club’s squad, ahead of their upcoming showdown with Liverpool.
Reds face off
The marquee fixture of the Premier League weekend is set to play out at the Emirates in a little over 24 hours time.
The clash will see two of the division’s underachievers to this point in the campaign – in the form of Arsenal and Liverpool – go head to head.
Hosts Arsenal head into the matchup on the back of an altogether hit and miss spell of form prior to the international break, which saw the Gunners win one, draw one and lose one of their last three outings across all competitions.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, on the other hand, will no doubt have their tails up, having rattled off a pair of successive victories over RB Leipzig and Wolves respectively.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JUNE 24: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp looks on prior to the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace at Anfield on June 24, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
As things stand, it is the soon-to-be dethroned champions who hold the advantage in the Premier League table, sitting 7th, with their top-4 hopes hanging by a thread.
Luiz out/Saka doubt
For Arsenal, on the other hand, the club’s Champions League ambitions have long rested more or less solely on their efforts in the Europa League.
As such, with a quarter-final meeting with Slavia Prague to come next week, it would not be a massive surprise to see Mikel Arteta opt to hand at least some of his returning internationals a rest on Saturday night.
And, if the latest word stemming from the Gunners camp is anything to go by, then the Spaniard may in fact be left with no choice.
In an update across the club’s social media platforms a short time ago, Arsenal provided fitness updates on a number of members of Arteta’s squad.
David Luiz, for one, has been definitively ruled out of the Liverpool clash:
Right knee. David has experienced discomfort in his right knee and is being further assessed.
David will not be available for Saturday’s match.
WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 02: David Luiz of Arsenal protests towards Referee Craig Pawson after a tackle which results in a red card and a penalty during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at Molineux on February 2, 2021 in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)
All of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Granit Xhaka, meanwhile, will require late fitness tests on Saturday:
Right hamstring. Bukayo did not join up with the England national team and has been receiving treatment over the past two weeks.
Bukayo will be assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability
Emile Smith Rowe
Right thigh/quad. Emile developed tightness in his right quad on international duty with England Under-21s.
Emile is being assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability.
Granit was unwell on Friday morning and missed the day’s training session.
Granit will be further assessed ahead of Saturday’s match regarding his availability
The news regarding Willian is of a more positive nature, though, with the Brazilian primed to return to the fray:
Left calf. Willian is now back in full training and available for selection.
📋 The team news update has landed ✅
🗞 Get the lowdown on our squad’s availability for #ARSLIV 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) April 2, 2021
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