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Arsenal's defensive problems have gone from bad to worse for manager Unai Emery after Ainsley Maitland-Niles picked up a knock in the 5-1 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday. 

The Gunners' utility man filled in on the wing at Anfield and is now down as a doubt for Tuesday's London derby clash with relegation threatened Fulham.


Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding will definitely be absent on Tuesday, with Nacho Monreal and Hector Bellerin both doubts, and options at the back are becoming scarce during a busy run of games. 

With the defence becoming so depleted by injury, Emery's hand may be forced in the January transfer window.

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Emery said, via the Daily Star: "Defensively we need to be stronger. But Liverpool three, four or five years ago are in the same situation as us.

"It was a very bad result but we need to say that they are better than us now in this moment. You can see the difference in the table, you can see the difference on the pitch."

Emery has been dealt a squad filled with injuries during his short stint in north London, causing many players to be played out of position, especially in defence. 

Emery's side will welcome Fulham to the Emirates on New Year's Day in a match where Arsenal's team selection may surprise a few with the vast amount of injuries they have suffered. 


Granit Xhaka and Stephen Lichtsteiner are the main two who have been plugging the gaps in the centre of Arsenal's defence this season, but Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny may be selected instead to lead at the back.