By 90Min
December 28, 2018

Arsenal could be forced to face Liverpool on Saturday without as many as seven first-team players, as injuries begin to seriously deplete Unai Emery's squad.

The Gunners have struggled greatly with defensive injuries all season, and they will no doubt be wary of coming up against one of the Premier League's most prolific sides in Liverpool. The Reds currently have a six-point lead at the top of the table and have not dropped points since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in early November.

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Arsenal's injury woes have been tracked by Physio Room, who list injuries to seven first-team players. Both Nacho Monreal and Shkodran Musrafi, who have been suffering with hamstring injuries, face a race against time to prove their fitness ahead of the fixture, and may find themselves restricted to a place on the substitute's bench on Saturday.

However, five members of the squad will certainly play no part in the match. Firstly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was recently diagnosed with a broken foot, faces around six weeks on the sidelines before he will be able to return to training, meaning he could miss around ten games for the club.

He will be joined on the sidelines by Hector Bellerin, who faces another two weeks out as a result of a calf injury, and 21-year-old Konstantinos Mavropanos, who has been out of action since September with a groin injury.

Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck have also suffered serious injuries and will likely remain on the sidelines for an extended period of time. Holding is set for surgery on a knee injury and could take up to nine months to recover, whilst Welbeck is currently recuperating from ankle surgery.

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Given Arsenal's injury woes, Emery has been forced to use midfielders Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Granit Xhaka as defenders in recent weeks as he has been rotating between various formations to manage his injury struggles, and he may be forced to do something similar against Liverpool.

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