Thursday, November 15, 2018

Emery hopes for good news as Arsenal face full-back crisis

SoccerNews in English Premier League 2 Nov 2018

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery hopes to have at least one player recover in time for the visit of Liverpool on Saturday as his side face an injury crisis in defence.

Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac will be assessed as they battle back from hamstring injuries, while there will also be late fitness tests for Hector Bellerin (thigh) and centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos (ankle).

With Laurent Koscielny and Konstantinos Mavropanos still sidelined, the Gunners have been forced into defensive reshuffles in recent matches, which has included Granit Xhaka being deployed as a makeshift left-back.

However, with Matteo Guendouzi suspended and Mohamed Elneny also injured, Xhaka could well be needed in his regular midfield role when Liverpool visit Emirates Stadium.

Emery, though, remains hopeful of having some good news before facing Jurgen Klopp’s side.

“We are playing a lot and injuries are normal,” he told a news conference. “We will wait on full-back. We will see if a player can make it.”

Regardless of injuries, Emery wants his side to work collectively to stop Liverpool’s attack and end Arsenal’s run of six Premier League games without beating them.

“We need to stop them doing their jobs in the 90 minutes,” he said. “They have individual players and also are a collective. They are developing moves with the goalkeeper because they build up through Alisson, the centre-backs and the midfield players.

“They can progress up the pitch with a lot of quality, starting with Alisson. We need a big match in the individual duels against them and also tactically we need to be together and play with our identity and style that we need to impose on them.

“It’s difficult for 90 minutes but, in moments, we need to impose our ideas in a duel of 90 minutes.

“We are in our mentality that we also need to improve things but each match they are giving us a lot of information for improvement and development and I trust in my players.”

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