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Pre-Southampton team news: Arsenal offer update on Sokratis, Mustafi, Holding & more

By on December 14, 2018

sokratis arsenal 2018

Arsenal have offered a team news and injury update ahead of our Premier League clash with Southampton and we’ll be without six players this weekend.

Let’s start with the latest on Rob Holding and the club have confirmed he’s undergone a successful operation after damaging his cruciate knee ligament during our 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Doctors had to wait for the swelling to go down before they could operate but the surgery finally took place on Thursday and Holding is now expected to be out for up to nine months.

Arsenal also gave the latest on Emile Smith Rowe after confirming the young midfielder is hoping to return to full training soon after missing the Europa League win over Qarabag with a hip injury.

Danny Welbeck is obviously still on the sidelines as he’s unlikely to play again this season due to a broken foot while Dinos Mavropanos is still struggling to overcome a niggling groin problem.

Emery will be low on options at centre-back against Southampton as Sokratis is suspended having picked up his fifth booking of the season during our win over Huddersfield last weekend.

Shkodran Mustafi is also facing a one-match ban but the German international may have missed the trip to Southampton anyway as he’s nursing a hamstring injury that forced him off against the Terriers.

A team news update on Arsenal.com said:

Sokratis
Due to receiving his fifth domestic booking, receives a one-match suspension for Southampton (a) on Sunday, December 16.

Shkodran Mustafi
Due to receiving his fifth domestic booking, receives a one-match suspension for Southampton (a) on Sunday, December 16. Shkodran’s hamstring is also being assessed ahead of Tottenham Hotspur (h) on Wednesday, December 19.

Emile Smith Rowe
Right hip. Expected to return to full training in December.

Rob Holding
Left knee. Successful anterior cruciate ligament repair surgery on Thursday.

Dinos Mavropanos
Groin injury. Expected to return to full training in December.

Danny Welbeck
Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

Sokratis, Mustafi and Holding have been our main centre-back’s throughout the season so it’s hugely unfortunate to be without all three of them this weekend but thankfully Laurent Koscielny made a successful return last night.

The Frenchman came through 70 minutes against Qarabag on his first start of the season and as long as he doesn’t suffer any adverse reaction, I expect he’ll start against the Saints on Sunday.

If Emery sticks with his back three then we could see Stephan Lichtsteiner and Nacho Monreal join Koscielny in defence with Sead Kolasinac and Hector Bellerin in the wing-back roles.

I’ll have my preferred line-up published on Saturday morning so stay tuned….

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