Arsenal face Olympiacos in the first leg of their Europa League round-of-32 tie on Thursday night, and a key duo could be missing for the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta’s side are unbeaten in their last eight games across all competitions, and they’ll be in confident mood after a 4-0 win over Newcastle United last time out.
However, it won’t be easy away in Greece for the first leg against Olympiacos, as they’ll be desperate to return to the Emirates for the second leg next week with a positive result to defend.
With another crunch clash this weekend against Everton in the Premier League as the battle for fourth place hots up at the business end of the campaign, Arteta will be desperate to have a fully-fit squad at his disposal in the coming weeks.
He hasn’t quite got that against Olympiacos though, as although the club have confirmed that January loan signing Pablo Mari is available for selection, as per their official medical bulletin, neither Mesut Ozil nor Lucas Torreira have made the trip.
Ozil is ruled out due to personal reasons, while Torreira could miss out due to illness. It’s suggested that he could fly out in time for the match if his condition improves, but the late nature of that decision will surely put his place in the starting line-up in doubt anyway.
Given the quality and experience that duo possess between them, their absence will be a setback for Arsenal in what is a difficult European away day.
Looking at the bigger picture, Arsenal also provided updates on Cedric Soares and Kieran Tierney, and the two full-backs are being tipped to return to full training by the end of this month and so that will be a welcome double boost for Arteta.
For now though, the focus will be on Olympiacos, and it remains to be seen if the quality and experience still available to the Spaniard is enough to get the right result as far as Arsenal are concerned.