Arsenal are back in Premier League action as they head down the Thames to face high-flying Fulham at Craven Cottage, where they will be looking to register a fifth straight victory in the top-flight.
Although, manager Mikel Arteta is likely to be handed a major headache in attack, with as many as three key players doubtful to feature against the Cottagers…
What’s the latest Arsenal injury news?
The pressure is back on the Gunners after defending champions Manchester City saw off Crystal Palace in Saturday’s late encounter, so a victory would see the north Londoners move five points clear once again.
It’ll be no easy task, however, as Marco Silva’s outfit find themselves on the cusp of a European qualification spot as they currently sit in eighth position, knowing that three points could take them as high as sixth.
Arteta’s task is made all that harder by the fact that he’ll likely be without a striker, with Gabriel Jesus, Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard all likely to be ruled out.
Speaking in his pre-game press conference the Spaniard said (via the club’s official website):
“Eddie [Nketiah] is out as well, so we have Gabby [Jesus] out, Eddie out and Leo [Trossard] out.
“We have to adapt at this period of the season. We can play with a winger more as a nine, or a false nine. We will see.”
Who will lead the line vs Fulham?
In Arsenal’s midweek trip to Portugal, Arteta opted for Gabriel Martinelli through the middle, but to no avail, as Sporting CP were able to restrict him to just one shot on target before Fabio Vieira acted as a false nine.
These options are likely to be tested once again, especially if Martin Odegaard returns from a bout of illness that saw him ruled out of the Europa League clash.
Back in the Premier League, Martinelli is currently the Gunners’ top goalscorer on 11 goals, though the majority of these efforts have come out in his natural left-wing position, whilst Emile Smith Rowe’s comeback also throws in another conundrum for the Spanish head coach.
Either way, the absence of three key attackers is certainly a massive and worrying blow to Arsenal’s chances of success on Sunday afternoon. The Cottagers have conceded fewer goals than teams like Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, and have scored more goals than Newcastle United and Chelsea, making them no mean feat.
Arteta must now decide who takes the frontline burden – does he risk disrupting Martinelli’s flow or will he throw in a Vieira-sized curveball? Only time will tell.
AND in other news, Arteta must soon unleash “Hale End’s finest” talent who’s yet to make Arsenal debut…
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