Odegaard, Saka, Xhaka: Arsenal team news and injury updates ahead of Liverpool clash


Arsenal went into the first international break of 2021 on the back of a thrilling 3-3 draw in another London derby.

After beating bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur, the Gunners took on West Ham United at the London Stadium last Sunday afternoon as they looked to record back-to-back wins in the Premier League.

But after 32 minutes in east London, they were 3-0 down and staring a humiliating defeat in the face.

Fortunately for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta his side produced a dramatic comeback that was completed in the 82nd minute when Alexandre Lacazette headed home substitute Nicolas Pepe’s fine cross.

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Next up for the Gunners is the visit of last season’s Champions Liverpool to the Emirates Stadium a week on Saturday.

However, with a number of first-team players away on international duty, Arteta will be hopeful that nobody reports back injured ahead of the big game against the Reds.

With that in mind, here is the very latest on the Gunners injury front.

Bukayo Saka

Bukayo Saka returned to the Arsenal XI against West Ham after missing the 1-0 defeat to Olympiacos in the UEFA Europa League three days earlier because of a hamstring problem.

He played 74 minutes at the London Stadium before being replaced by Nicolas Pepe.

However, it would appear that the wonderkid has suffered a setback after the FA announced that Saka still hasn’t joined up with Gareth Southgate’s England squad at St. George’s Park due to the injury.

Arsenal ace Bukayo Saka has been nothing short of superb this season. (Image: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images).

“The #ThreeLions are out at training, with 24 players involved,” they said in a tweet. “Marcus Rashford sits out to continue his rehabilitation.

“While Bukayo Saka is still with his club for further assessment on an on-going issue but it is hoped he will join up with the squad later this week.”

Martin Odegaard

Arsenal have survived an injury scare after Martin Odegaard was injured during international duty with Norway.

Odegaard, who has impressed since his loan move from Real Madrid, played for Norway in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night, but he was forced off at half-time.

The midfielder picked up an injury in the 40th minute, and he had to be replaced.

Martin Odegaard appeared to have suffered an ankle injury whilst in action for Norway against Gibraltar. (Image: Sky Sports)

After Norway completed a 3-0 win against Gibraltar, head coach Ståle Solbakken gave Arsenal fans the news they were waiting for, confirming the injury was ‘not serious’.

And Odegaard – who was recently awarded the captaincy for his national team – has since provided an update, reassuring Norway and Arsenal fans over his fitness ahead of his country’s fixture with Turkey later this week.

He told 2Sporten: “I twisted my ankle, but I think I will be fit for the game against Turkey Saturday.”

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Willian

Arsenal were without winger Willian, who has found form in recent matches, against the Hammers.

Like Saka, Willian missed the clash with Olympiacos with a tight calf problem.

But a decision was made to not risk the Brazilian and he has since been spotted in training this week, which would suggest he is in contention to face Liverpool.

Elsewhere, Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were also substituted during the West Ham game, but it’s understood those changes were tactical rather than injury related.





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