Arsenal have provided an update on the fitness of their squad ahead of Friday night’s Premier League game against Everton.
It has been eventful few days for the Gunners who were forced to pull out of the European Super League just 48 hours after joining due to mounting fan discontent at the decision.
Despite issuing an apology on Tuesday night supporter backlash is not expected to stop there with a protest against the Kroenke family planned to take place outside the Emirates two hours before kick off in the clash with the Toffees.
On the pitch though they will also have to deal with some problems after Mikel Arteta was dealt a massive blow surrounding the fitness of his two most senior strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Lacazette was forced off during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Fulham after suffering what the club have now confirmed to be a strain to his left hamstring.
The Gunners have now confirmed that the injury will rule him out for Friday’s match against Carlo Ancelotti ‘s side.
It is unclear whether this means he will also be out for the first leg of the Europa League semi final first leg against Villarreal next Thursday, with club stating that “he will continue to work with the medical team and will be assessed ahead of next week’s matches.”
The news is a huge blow after Lacazette had been showing some of the best form of his Arsenal career scoring eight goals in his last seven matches.
To make matters worse the Gunners will also be without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the clash with Everton.
The 31-year-old is recovering after spending some days in hospital with malaria which he picked up while on international duty with Gabon.
However, the club captain is expected to be back in light training by the end of this week and could be back in time for the crucial reunion with Unai Emery ‘s Valencia.
With both centre forwards ruled out there could be a chance for Folarin Balogun – who is set to sign a contract extension with the club very soon – to make his Premier League debut although Eddie Nketiah is the far more likely option to start the game after scoring a 97th minute equaliser against Fulham on Sunday.
Alternatively Gabriel Martinelli could be given a run out in the number nine role where Arteta has hinted that he sees his future.
There is some more positive news though on Martin Odegaard who has been missing for Arsenal since the 3-0 defeat to Liverpool at the start of the month due to an ankle injury.
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The Norwegian has returned to light training this week and is being assessed ahead of potential availability before the clash with Everton on Friday night.
The Scottish left back is hoping to be back in training within two to three weeks, while Luiz is aiming to join up with the squad again for training next week.