By 90Min
February 03, 2019

Arsenal head to the Etihad on Sunday to take on Manchester City, but will have to do without Granit Xhaka and Ainsley Maitland-Niles who have not made the trip with the rest of the squad to Manchester. 

Maitland-Niles played at right back against Cardiff City in the absence of Hector Bellerin, whilst Xhaka sat on the bench - but no reason has been given why the pair didn't join their teammates for the trip.

Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Although inconsistent, 26-year-old Xhaka has been a regular for Gunners boss Unai Emery this term, starting 22 of Arsenal's Premier League games.

His performances have divided Arsenal fans with some celebrating his seat on the bench for the 2-1 win over Cardiff City whilst others questioning Emery's decision to drop the Swiss international.

21-year-old Maitland-Niles, who didn't make the matchday squad last time out against the Bluebirds, was also missing when the Arsenal team boarded the bus according to reports from Manchester Evening News.

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

Further reports suggest that Henrikh Mkhitaryan also failed to make the trip to the Etihad. The Armenian has been nursing a metatarsal fracture but is expected to return to first team action in the coming days. 

It is unclear why Maitland-Niles and Xhaka have not made the trip, but it is presumed the duo have picked up small knocks with Emery keen not to risk further injury to the pair.

After his loan move from Barcelona last week, former Manchester City midfielder Denis Suarez could be in line to make his Arsenal debut.

Quality Sport Images/GettyImages

The 25-year-old joined Arsenal on a season-long loan from Barcelona with the Gunners having the option to purchase the Spaniard at the end of the campaign.

Laurent Koscielny has also handed the Gunners a timely fitness boost with the skipper back in training. The France international was forced to sit out the 2-1 victory over Cardiff on Tuesday following a heavy blow to the face during the clash againsy Manchester United.

Arsenal look to go level with Chelsea on points in fourth position in the Premier League, whilst Manchester City will be eager to leapfrog Tottenham and climb back into second in Sunday's intriguing game.

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