Arsenal will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League when they face West Ham at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night. The Gunners have won four and drawn two of their last six games in the league, climbing up to fourth place in the table.
However, they will have to cope with some injury issues ahead of the London derby, as two players have been ruled out and two others are doubtful.
The first player to miss out is Granit Xhaka, who suffered a knee injury in the 3-0 win over Southampton on Saturday. The Swiss midfielder was forced off in the first half and was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Xhaka underwent a scan on Monday and the results confirmed that he has a medial ligament damage that will keep him out for at least three weeks.
The second player to be sidelined is Calum Chambers, who is still recovering from a hamstring problem that he picked up in training last week. The versatile defender has not featured for Arsenal since the 2-0 win over Watford in October and is expected to be out until after the international break.
On a positive note, Arsenal have received some encouraging news regarding William Saliba and Eddie Nketiah, who are both close to returning from their respective injuries.
Saliba, who joined Arsenal from Saint-Etienne in 2019 but spent the last two seasons on loan in France, has been out since September with a groin injury. The 20-year-old centre-back has been training with the first team for the last few weeks and could make his debut for the club soon.
Nketiah, meanwhile, has been out since August with an ankle injury that he sustained in a pre-season friendly against Chelsea. The 22-year-old striker has been working hard on his rehabilitation and is expected to resume full training this week.
Nketiah could provide some much-needed competition for Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the attacking department.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be hoping that both Saliba and Nketiah can regain their fitness and form as soon as possible, as the Gunners face a busy schedule in the next few weeks.
After hosting West Ham on Wednesday, Arsenal will travel to Leeds United on Saturday, before facing Sunderland in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. They will then wrap up their December fixtures with games against Norwich City, Wolves and Manchester City.
Final Thoughts: Arsenal Injury Concerns and Hope for Saliba and Nketiah
The injury news for Arsenal ahead of their upcoming match against West Ham is a mixed bag. Losing Granit Xhaka to a knee injury is a blow for the Gunners, as the Swiss midfielder has been a key figure in Mikel Arteta’s midfield this season.
Calum Chambers’ continued absence due to a hamstring problem is also disappointing, as the versatile defender had been making progress before his setback.
However, the potential returns of William Saliba and Eddie Nketiah offer some hope for Arsenal. Saliba, in particular, is an exciting prospect who has yet to make his debut for the club.
The French centre-back has been highly rated for some time and could provide some much-needed depth to Arsenal’s defence. Nketiah, meanwhile, is a young striker who has shown flashes of promise and could offer an alternative to Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Overall, Arsenal will be hoping to navigate through their injury concerns and maintain their impressive recent form. With a busy schedule ahead, including a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Sunderland, they will need all hands on deck. The return of Saliba and Nketiah could be a timely boost, but Arsenal will need to be cautious with their recoveries to avoid any further setbacks.