Arsenal confirm fresh double blow as 5 players miss Olympiacos clash

By on February 19, 2020

Arsenal have provided a team news update ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Olympiacos and we’ve been handed a major double blow.

Unfortunately, Mesut Ozil has been ruled out of the game in Athens tomorrow evening as the playmaker has been given personal leave to be with his wife for the birth of their child.

Lucas Torreira also hasn’t travelled with the first team squad to Greece as he’s been struck down by illness. The club says the midfield could yet make the trip on his own if he improves over the coming hours but I personally don’t see that happening. Is Torreira really going to overcome this illness in a matter of hours, fly to Greece and start in a huge game on Thursday night? I don’t think so.

It’s a big blow to be without two influential players like Ozil and Torreira for what will be a crucial first leg in our last-32 tie and Mikel Arteta will also be unable to call upon the services of three other first team players tomorrow.

Calum Chambers won’t play again this season after undergoing surgery on an ACL injury while Kieran Tierney isn’t ready yet as he’s not expected to resume full training until later this month having suffered a shoulder injury late last year.

January signing Cedric Soares is still working his way back to full fitness from a knee injury that he was nursing when he arrived on loan from Southampton so a total of five players are unavailable against Olympiacos.

However, there is some positive news on the injury front as Arsenal have confirmed Pablo Mari is available and could make his debut after building up his fitness with 90 minutes for the U23’s on Monday. I still think it’s highly unlikely Mari will start against Olympiacos but it’s still nice to have another option in defence.

This is what the team news update on Arsenal.com said earlier:

Calum Chambers
Left knee. Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee during Chelsea (h) on 29 December. Successful surgery completed. Rehabilitation process expected to take between six to nine months.

Pablo Mari
Available for selection.

Mesut Ozil
Will miss Olympiacos (a) due to personal reasons.

Cedric Soares
Left knee. Progressing well with gym work. Aiming to be in full training by the end of February.

Lucas Torreira
Has not travelled on the club flight to Athens on Wednesday due to illness. Being assessed in the next 24 hours. If there is a significant improvement will fly to Athens in time for the match.

Kieran Tierney
Right shoulder. Dislocated right shoulder during West Ham Utd (a) on 9 December. Good progress being made in rehabilitation process and has commenced participation in group training sessions. Aiming to be in back in full training by the end of February.