Before Arsenal face Manchester City in the Premier League, there’s the small matter of a Carabao Cup second-round tie to negotiate.
The Gunners have been drawn against Championship side West Brom away from home in a game that might just provide a welcome distraction for Mikel Arteta following back-to-back 2-0 defeats at the hands of Brentford and Chelsea.
Sunday’s loss against the latter was a costly one as Kieran Tierney and Gabriel Martinelli both failed to see out the 90 minutes, whilst there was a massive defensive blow before kick-off.
Although, the good news for Arteta is that his side do have a good recent record against the Baggies – including a 4-0 win at the Hawthorns last season – and that should fill him with confidence.
A cup upset is the last thing that Arsenal can afford right now and with no European football this season they’ll be expected to go deep in the competition.
Arteta will be hopeful of guiding the Gunners to their first win of the new season, but the Spaniard does have some concerning injury troubles to contend with ahead of the cup tie.
With that said, here is a round-up of all the very latest Gunners injury news and expected return dates.
Arsenal’s £50m summer signing missed the defeat by Chelsea after testing positive for coronavirus.
Ben White is the latest Gunners player to test positive for the virus after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Willian and Runar Alex Runarsson.
The quartet were forced to miss the loss at Brentford and the defender suffered the same fate.
As players who test positive for the virus have to self-isolate for 10 days, White will miss the game against West Brom and won’t feature against Man City on Saturday.
“I don’t think so no,” Arteta said when asked if the defender had a chance to face the latter in his post-match press conference.
It’s a good thing Arsenal signed a back-up left-back in the summer transfer window, because Kieran Tierney’s injury issues might have returned.
The Scot had to limp off in the second half and Arteta has since confirmed that there is “an issue with his quad”.
It remains to be seen how long Tierney is out for, but the fact he was able to walk off the pitch might be a good sign ahead of the Man City game.
Another tough outing for the Brazilian wonderkid. Against Chelsea he played through the middle and barely got involved due to a lack of service.
He too had to go off early as he was replaced by Folarin Balogun.
The good news is that the problem doesn’t sound too serious and he could be in contention to face the Baggies.
“Gabi was cramping,” Arteta added. “With Bukayo they have not played 90 minutes for a long, long time, but we have to ask them to do that right now when they are not fully prepared.
“But they tried really hard the boys.”
Whilst Arsenal were boosted by the return of Aubameyang against Chelsea, there was no space in the matchday squad for Lacazette.
This was to be expected as the club’s official website confirmed that the Frenchman would not be available for selection as he continues to recover from his positive Covid-19 test.
“Alex tested positive for Covid-19 and was unavailable for last Friday’s match at Brentford. Alex is still recovering and will not be available for Sunday’s match,” the statement said.
Arteta went on to say: “Well they had some tough days to be fair. Laca still hasn’t trained so he’s not been really good.”
Depending on what shape Lacazette is in during this week’s training sessions will likely determine which of the two games he could potentially return for.
Ironically, the 28-year-old limped off during the Gunners’ 2-1 pre-season friendly defeat by Chelsea at the beginning of the month.
However, while the injury is not too serious, Partey has already missed the first two games of the new season, is likely to sit out the Carabao Cup tie against West Brom and is a doubt to face Manchester City at the end of the month.
Ahead of the Chelsea clash, Arsenal issued an update on the Ghana international.
A club statement read: “Right ankle. Thomas sustained an injury to ligaments in his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea on August 1.
“Thomas continues to be assessed and is expected to be back in training by the end of August.”
One can safely assume that unless the midfielder gets a few training sessions under his belt ahead of the Man City game on August 28, it won’t be until after the international break when he will return to action
It has also been confirmed that Nketiah is facing up to a month on the sidelines with an ankle problem of his own.
“Eddie sustained bruising to his right ankle during the friendly match against Chelsea last Sunday,” the statement continued. “Eddie continues to be assessed and is expected to be back in training in approximately four weeks.”
The striker, who has been linked with a move away from Arsenal this summer, will be targeting a return to action after the international break.
Gabriel, who has been suffering with a knee injury that kept him out of the summer Olympic Games, can’t return soon enough for many Arsenal fans as Pablo Mari has not started the season in convincing fashion.
However, supporters will have to remain patient for a little while longer.
“Right knee. Gabriel sustained an injury to his right knee whilst with the Brazilian Olympic Squad. Gabriel is progressing well with the medical team and is aiming to be back in training later this month.”
As a result, the Brazilian will miss games against West Brom in the Carabao Cup and Man City.
He has been spotted in training, which means he could be in contention to face Norwich City in Arsenal’s first game after the international break.
The transfer window is in full swing and things are beginning to ramp up with Edu and Mikel Arteta’s dealings at the Emirates.
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As per Premier Injuries, Hector Bellerin missed the Chelsea defeat because of a thigh problem and there’s not return date set for the right-back who could still leave the Emirates before transfer deadline day.
Runarsson was also not available to face Chelsea, but his 10-day isolation period should be complete in time to be in contention to face West Brom, while Martin Odegaard could make his second debut if he sorts out his visa issues.
Meanwhile, Bukayo Saka was also substituted in the second half against the Blues.
Although, that was a tactical-related change and should all be in contention for the game against the Baggies.