Arsenal boss Unai Emery could have a real problem on his hands against Liverpool, with four defensive players facing late fitness tests.
The Gunners host the Reds at the Emirates in the late kick-off on Saturday, hoping to extend their 13-game unbeaten run across all competitions while proving their title credentials with a win over a direct rival.
In order to do that, they’ll have to tighten up at the back having conceded 13 goals in 10 league games so far this season, which gives them the worst defensive record of the top seven teams in the standings.
With that in mind, the last thing that Emery needs is to be struck with an injury crisis in that department, but that’s exactly what he’s facing just hours before facing Liverpool.
As detailed in the club’s injury update post on Friday, four defensive players are facing late fitness tests ahead of the game with Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Hector Bellerin and Sokratis all doubts.
It remains to be seen if any of that quartet are passed fit, but particularly with the left-back situation in mind, it could mean that Emery is forced to field Granit Xhaka in that role again this weekend after doing the same against Crystal Palace last time out.
That will be a massive concern if so given he could be going up against the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on that flank, and so getting either Monreal or Kolasinac back will be a huge boost for the Gunners.
Laurent Koscielny and Dinos Mavropanos remain long-term absentees so won’t feature, while Mohamed Elneny will miss out along with Matteo Guendouzi who is suspended.