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Arsenal will be without Granit Xhaka for Wednesday night’s clash with Manchester United while Unai Emery has also given a brief update on Mesut Ozil ahead of the game.
Xhaka once again started in the middle of the park for the Gunners during their thrilling 4-2 comeback victory over Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice to claim the bragging rights at the North London Derby.
However, Xhaka picked up his fifth booking of the season with a foul shortly after half time and will now serve an immediate one-game suspensionmeaning the Swiss international will now miss Wednesday night’s trip to Old Trafford.
The news will come as a real blow to Arsenal as although Xhaka has had his critics since joining the club, the 26-year-old has been a key player under Emery this season having started all 14 Premier League games so far.
His absence will leave a void needing to be filled as Xhaka has formed an excellent partnership alongside summer signing Lucas Torreira and they bossed Tottenham in the middle of the park on Sunday afternoon.
Youngster Matteo Guendouzi is an option for Emery while Mohamed Elneny is also pushing for a recall. Aaron Ramsey is capable of playing in a deeper midfield role but Emery seems to favour the Welshman further forward.
Arsenal could also be without Ozil against United on Wednesday night after the German international missed the win over Tottenham with an apparent back problem.
Ozil was axed for the win over Bournemouth last weekend and Emery publicly suggested that the playmaker wasn’t suited to playing in high intensity games amid reports he’s concerned about the players work ethic.
Speaking after the win over Spurs yesterday, Emery gave short answers when quizzed about Ozil’s absence. He’s quoted as saying by Arsenal.com:
on Mesut Ozil’s injury…
He has backache.
on when he got it…
I don’t know.
on whether he was at the stadium…
I don’t know. It’s a good day to speak about the players who were playing.
Ozil has been criticised in the past for pulling out of games due to mystery back issues and it remains to be seen whether the former Real Madrid attacker will make himself available for selection for the trip to Old Trafford on Wednesday.