Arsenal suffer huge injury blow ahead of Porto clash

By on March 11, 2024

gabriel martinelli arsenal

Arsenal have suffered a huge injury blow ahead of the crucial Champions League encounter against FC Porto as they could be without Gabriel Martinelli.

The Brazilian sustained an injury in the Premier League encounter versus Sheffield United – where he was taken off in the second half. It initially looked like the problem wasn’t anything serious.

However, the South American was among the absentees in the last game against Brentford – where the Gunners required a late Kai Havertz strike to win the game.

Now, Arsenal will face off against FC Porto in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Tuesday night. The Gunners have enjoyed a stellar time after returning from the winter break, losing only one out of the last nine games but their solitary defeat came against the Portuguese giants in the first leg.

So, Mikel Arteta would be hoping to have his full-strength squad for this game to turn the deficit around and secure their place in the quarter-final of Europe’s elite club competition.

Fresh injury blow

However, according to the report by Football London, Martinelli was pictured in crutches in the ‘mixed zone’ after the Brentford victory so, he is a ‘major doubt’ for the game against Porto.

Martinelli was also not able to take part in training today so it looks increasingly likely that he’ll miss the crucial second leg against Porto tomorrow night.

With the Man City game in the Premier League looming, Arteta wouldn’t want to take any risk and rush Martinelli back. So, it is likely that Leandro Trossard will start in the left-wing role, in place of the South American as it was against Brentford.

Bukayo Saka also had an injury doubt ahead of the last game but he started and played the full 90 minutes. However, the Englishman wasn’t at his best.

Arsenal are currently 1-0 down to Porto and considering the North London club’s current form at Emirates Stadium, they are still the favourites to reach the quarter-finals.

The Gunners haven’t been able to get past the round of 16 of this competition since 2009 and they will be desperate to do that tomorrow to keep their hopes of triumphing the maiden Champions League title alive this season. However, it is going to be interesting to see whether Arsenal can eventually beat Porto if Martinelli remains sidelined.

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