Arsenal Team News vs Sheffield United: Tierney, Odegaard, Luiz

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Arsenal will be on the road this weekend as they face Sheffield United in the Premier League on Sunday. What is their team news looking like ahead of this game? (For the Arsenal starting XI prediction go here)

The Gunners will have one eye on next week’s second leg of the Europa League quarterfinal when they face the Blades this weekend. Though their opponents are in the relegation zone, it should not lead to any complacency from the visitors.

Both David Luiz and Kieran Tierney will be out for a significant period, so Mikel Arteta will have to do without them. This is a big blow for the team as they are among the better defenders at the club.

The other major absentee is going to be the man on loan from Real Madrid, Martin Odegaard. He has an ankle problem which kept him out of the Europa League quarterfinal and the playmaker is expected to miss this game as well.

Though there isn’t a chance for the North Londoners to reach the Champions League domestically, they still must focus on winning games.

What that will do is help build some momentum that can lead to better performances down the line.

Sheffield themselves have had a season to forget as they sit in last place. They are fighting for their survival (although any odds of escaping the drop are way beyond long at this point) which will be a motivation for them. The Emirates club will have to move the ball quickly and efficiently, in order to negate any threat from the Blades.

The visitors have the firepower needed to breach the hosts’ defence. Having talents such as Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should give them the upper hand. The North London club will need to convert their chances or it could end up being yet another frustrating day.

They will definitely create a lot of opportunities and will want to ensure that they take them.

Arsenal will have to be smart about how they approach this game. They need to rotate the squad so that players remain fresh for the second leg against Slavia Prague next Thursday. The Gunners know what needs to be done to beat Sheffield having already defeated them earlier in the season.

 

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