Mikel Arteta has landed a double injury boost with Martin Odegaard and Emile Smith Rowe in contention ahead of Arsenal facing Liverpool in their Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg.
That’s according to football.london, who report Thursday’s EFL Cup tie is set to go ahead as currently scheduled. The Gunners host Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield natives in north London after holding the Reds to a goalless draw. They rallied with 10-men on Merseyside to stay even.
But Arsenal could not then complete their Premier League commitments and successfully applied to postpone the north London derby. Arteta was unable to name an adequate side to face Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday due to a variety of absences in the Spaniard’s ranks.
The Emirates Stadium natives have a depleted squad with Mohamed Elneny, Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at AFCON. Granit Xhaka is also suspended, while Odegaard tested positive for Covid-19 and Smith Rowe was one of a number injured.
Takehiro Tomiyasu missed Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first-leg at Liverpool through injury. Arteta then witnessed Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka sustain issues at Anfield. He has also sanctioned January loan moves for Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Folarin Balogun.
Sead Kolasinac has now followed through the Emirates exit door with a permanent move to Marseille. Pablo Mari is also set to join Udinese on loan for the remainder of the season.
Arsenal set to welcome Odegaard and Smith Rowe back in double boost
Arsenal are currently set to host Liverpool on Thursday as scheduled, though, with Arteta getting Odegaard and Smith Rowe back. The pair returning is a big boost for the Spaniard, given his depleted options in midfield without any mid-season signings.
Odegaard had just hit his best form since joining the Gunners in a £34m permanent move from Real Madrid. The 23-year-old scored three of his four goals for the term and provided all three assists in his last seven Premier League appearances.
Smith Rowe has also thrived under Arteta, with Tim Sherwood full of praise for the Arsenal product’s efforts. He stated on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday (20/11, 12:27): “Smith Rowe has been outstanding. The emergence of this young kid has been absolutely outstanding.”
The 21-year-old has scored nine goals and assisted two in 21 outings in all competitions so far this season. Eight of his strikes have come in the top-flight, despite falling to the bench.