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Arsenal Team News ahead of Chelsea Clash: Smith Rowe, Aubameyang, Xhaka and latest injury Updates



All the very latest on the Arsenal injury front ahead of Wednesday evening’s London derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Arsenal will be going in search of a third successive Premier League victory for the first time since January when they make the short trip to Stamford Bridge to lock horns with London rivals Chelsea on Wednesday evening.

After bowing out of the UEFA Europa League at the semi-final stage on Thursday, being held to a goalless draw by Spanish outfit Villarreal in the second-leg, the Gunners, who beat Chelsea 3-1 in the reverse fixture at the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day, got back to winning ways last night, seeing off West Bromwich Albion, winning 3-1.

Goals from Emile Smith Rowe – his first in the Premier League, Nicolas Pepe and Willian sealed all three points for the Gunners, meaning they kept their slim hopes of securing a Europa League spot for next season alive.

The victory over the Baggies, who were relegated back to the Championship as a result of their defeat in north London, moved Arsenal up to ninth in the table, three points behind eighth-placed Everton.

But whilst the Gunners’ last two games of the Premier League season see them face Crystal Palace and Brighton & Hove Albion respectively, Wednesday’s trip to Stamford Bridge to take on Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea is going to represent a monumental challenge, with the Blues currently in blistering form.

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However, if the Gunners are to stand a chance of taking anything from the all-London showdown, they will need everyone to be at the very top of their game.

With that said, here is a round-up of all the very latest on the Gunners injury front ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.

David Luiz

After being sidelined for a month following knee surgery, Brazilian defender Luiz made his return to action during last Sunday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

However, he was to last just 53 minutes before being forced off with a hamstring problem. That has since forced him to miss the back-to-back home games with Villarreal and West Brom, meaning Arteta has once again been forced to shuffle his defensive pack.

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Ahead of the win over West Brom, Arsenal issued an update on Luiz’s progress, saying: “David has made very good progress since sustaining the injury at Newcastle last Sunday.

“David will continue his rehabilitation over the next week.”

It seems unlikely that he will play any part against his former club.

Pablo Mari

Fellow centre-back Mari missed last night’s win over West Brom after spraining his ankle during the goalless draw with Villarreal.

Although it was enough to rule him out of the clash with the Baggies, Arsenal are hopeful that he will make a return to training this week. It is currently unclear if he will make a return against Chelsea.

Granit Xhaka

Switzerland international Xhaka was scheduled to start Thursday’s goalless draw with Villarreal, only for him to pick up a groin injury in the warm up and be replaced by Kieran Tierney at left-back at the very last moment.

Issuing an update on Xhaka ahead of last night’s win, Arsenal said: “Granit missed Thursday’s match after sustaining a strain to the groin.

“Granit is not available for Sunday’s match. He will continue to be assessed and rehabilitate the injury with the medical team over the next few days.”

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Just like in Mari’s case, it remains to be seen whether or not he will feature against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Emile Smith Rowe

After scoring his first Premier League goal last night, Smith Rowe experienced a disappointing ending to his evening as he was forced off just past the hour mark with what Arteta later confirmed to be a hamstring injury.

Losing the attacking-midfielder was a major blow after such a positive performance, meaning the Gunners were forced to play the remainder of the contest without one of their most creative players.

Issuing an update on Smith Rowe’s condition following the full time whistle, Arteta said: “He felt something in his hamstring so he had to come off.

“He’s been cramping for a while. To be fair he’s still adapting to the demands of the league to playing every three days. Hopefully it’s nothing major.”

Arsenal will almost certainly provide a further update on the youngster’s condition ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Elsewhere, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will be hoping to seal a return to the starting line-up against Chelsea after being left on the substitutes bench against the Baggies. Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette will also be pushing for returns


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