Arsenal defender William Saliba will be assessed ahead of their clash with Crystal Palace… as the Gunners are concerned about the Frenchman’s availability after injury against Sporting Lisbon.
- William Saliba is a doubt for Arsenal’s trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon
- The French defender limped off the Gunners’ 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon
- Full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu will also miss the trip to Selhurst Park
Arsenal are sweating over defender William Saliba’s fitness ahead of Sunday’s crucial clash with Crystal Palace.
Thursday’s defeat in the Europa League against Sporting physically and mentally affected Mikel Arteta’s team.
Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu were removed in the first half, before several teammates appeared to have suffered from discomfort and cramping in the penalty shootout.
Tomiyasu will miss Sunday’s game: the full-back left the Emirates on crutches, having apparently injured his knee in a nasty fall. Immediately after the game, Arteta admitted that the problem seemed “quite serious”.
Saliba will be evaluated before the game after hurting his back, with the coach acknowledging: “He had some discomfort and couldn’t continue.”
Arsenal defender William Saliba will be assessed ahead of his trip to Crystal Palace
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta admitted Saliba’s injury seemed “quite serious” initially
The Frenchman has started every game in the Premier League alongside Gabriel at the heart of Arsenal’s defense and his absence could cause a potential headache for Arteta.
Ben White, who has played at right-back all season, would be an obvious replacement, but Tomiyasu’s injury means Arsenal have no other recognized right-back defender.
Arteta is now without Eddie Nketiah and Mohamed Elneny, but there is confidence that Gabriel, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Leandro Trossard, all of whom appeared to be struggling on Thursday, should be fit to face Palace.
And Arteta insisted: ‘We have had injuries all season. We had Emile (Smith Rowe) gone for four months, (Gabriel) Jesus for four months, Thomas (Partey) for a month and a half, Alex (Zinchenko) for two and a half months, Eddie for a month and a half.
‘We already had enough injuries, but we managed. The disappointment won’t go away, it’s there now. But there is also a clarity.
‘There are 11 games to go and we have a final against Crystal Palace. We have to recover and put all our concentration there and win.’
The Frenchman was forced to retire after 21 minutes in the Europa League encounter