The 29-year-old missed their last match against Liverpool with a back problem, and it would appear to be this that still keeping him out. He missed France’s match against Serbia with a problem to his psoas, a muscle in the lower back.
If the defender is unable to take the field against the Potters it will be a major blow to the Gunners just as they attempt to make up for their shaky start to the season. Last time round the centre-back was replaced by Calum Chambers, who struggled against the physicality of Christian Benteke.
This has come at the worst time for the North London club, with them needing to pick up their results after a defeat to West Ham and a draw at home to Liverpool. Their victories over Crystal Palace and Newcastle United were also not convincing, and with matches against Chelsea and Tottenham coming up they will need to improve their performances.
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