Injury issues ahead of Sevilla + Arteta’s ref comments (pt 2)

It’s Champions League action this evening as we take on Sevilla at home.

The team could be an interesting one, as it’s possible we go into this game with none of Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey, and Eddie Nketiah available. The latter faces a fitness test today having picked up a knock in the defeat to Newcastle at the weekend, while the captain has a ‘persistent’ problem according to Norway coach Stale Solbakken. Injuries are beginning to mount up.

I don’t think you can say we’re down to bare bones, but it certainly limits choice for Mikel Arteta. The absence of Jesus in particular will make this evening challenging. He was the difference maker in the away game, with a brilliant goal and a fantastic assist, and if Eddie doesn’t make it, the manager has got to think about who he deploys up front.

The obvious options are Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz, but the German might be required in a midfield role again if Odegaard isn’t fit enough. Beyond that, I think the team more or less picks itself. I wouldn’t be overly surprised to see Takehiro Tomiyasu start at right back with Oleksandr Zinchenko back on the left, but aside from that decision up front, there’s not much that would catch me off-guard.

The state of play in the group means a win would ensure Sevilla can’t catch us, and it’d put us in a very healthy position in the group – although a win for Lens over PSV would see them right behind us. Speaking to the press ahead of this one, Arteta said:

The moment you have a chance in football to put it to bed, do it. We have to do a lot of things right tomorrow to earn the right to win it against a really good team with enormous experience in this competition.

We have to prove tomorrow in front of our people how excited we are to play that game and what it means for us.

So, let’s hope we can cope without so many key players. That is going to make it more difficult, but it’s also a chance for some others…

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Author : arseblog

Publish date : 2023-11-08 08:13:41

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