Team news: Emery confirms 4 Arsenal players missed training ahead of Blackpool trip

By on January 3, 2019

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Unai Emery has confirmed four Arsenal players have missed training today ahead of Saturday evening’s FA Cup 3rd round trip to Blackpool.

Mesut Ozil has sat out the previous two games against Liverpool and Fulham due to a knee injury and the German playmaker is running out of time to prove his fitness after failing to train with the rest of the squad this afternoon.

Hector Bellerin has been nursing a calf injury since the defeat to Southampton last month and he’s also a major doubt for the trip to Blackpool while Nacho Monreal was another player who failed to train today as he bids to recover from an on-going hamstring injury.

Shkodran Mustafi has been struggling to overcome his own hamstring complaint in recent weeks as he’s been forced off at half-time in each of the last two games. The centre-back was unable to take part in training today so it seems unlikely he’ll make the squad for this weekend.

Emery also named Henrikh Mkhitaryan as absentee but the Armenian international isn’t due back for another month due to a fractured foot so he remains on the sidelines with Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck – who’re unlikely to play again this season.

There was some positive news for Arsenal as Dinos Mavropanos has returned to full training after a lengthy groin injury while Emile Smith Rowe is also close to returning from a hip injury, but it remains to be seen whether either player will fit enough to face Blackpool.

The boss held his pre-match press conference this afternoon and he told Arsenal.com:

on team news…
This morning Dinos Mavropanos started to train after I think five months. That’s good news. Emile Smith Rowe trained with us this morning. Continuing with his injury and not OK to train with us is Mustafi, he has to recover from his small injury and continue working alone. Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, Mkhitaryan and also Mesut didn’t train this morning. Tomorrow is the last day, we are going to wait for tomorrow, for how we can be for Saturday.

on if Ozil could be involved…
This morning, he didn’t train.

on Holding and Welbeck…
They are progressing well but it’s long injuries. Thy are working with the doctor.

With so many injury concerns, Arsenal will struggle to rotate as much as we perhaps would have liked this weekend but the likes of Petr Cech, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Carl Jenkinson, Mo Elneny and Aaron Ramsey should all feature.