Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is facing a selection headache, with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both set to miss Friday’s clash with Everton.
The Gunners have endured a difficult week off the pitch, starting from hours before their disappointing home draw with Fulham on Sunday.
Since that game ended, the footballing landscape has changed immeasurably due to the European Super League fiasco.
Tuesday night’s confirmation that they had withdrawn from the doomed tournament will hope to signal the end of that bizarre chapter, with focus now back on matters in the Premier League.
After the closed shop nature of the ESL was roundly rejected, it’s now up to Arteta’s side to earn themselves a place in European competition, and face a real uphill battle to finish in the top-six.
And for the visit of the Toffees, the Arsenal boss will be forced to shuffle his deck, with his two most senior strikers unavailable.
Club captain Aubameyang is continuing his recovery from malaria, although it is hoped he will return to training by the end of the week, according to the club’s official website.
Lacazette meanwhile, suffered a strain in his left hamstring against Fulham and has been ruled out of the game at the Emirates.
That opens up a chance for either Eddie Nketiah or Folarin Balogn, with the former scoring a dramatic equaliser last time out.
Nketiah ended a four-month goal drought with his strike against the Cottagers, while Folarin Balogun will be hoping for more chances now he’s tied his future to the club.
The 19-year-old has been in blistering form for the youth sides this year, but had seen his first-team chances limited, while negotiations over a new deal went on.
Elsewhere, Martin Odegaard, who has missed the last four games with an ankle injury, is closing in on a return and will be assessed ahead of the clash with Everton.
Defenders David Luiz and Kieran Tierney will also both miss out, with the Brazilian set to return to training next week and the left-back hoping to be back by the middle of May.
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