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Preparations have begun for Arsenal’s Premier League encounter with Sheffield United this weekend.
The Gunners welcome the Blades to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon hoping to continue their unbeaten start to 2020, but it won’t be easy.
Chris Wilder’s side have earned many plaudits since returning to the top flight of English football and they will head to north London sitting above Arsenal in the table having picked up 32 points from their opening 22 games.
Their last outing was a 1-0 win over West Ham United, while the Gunners drew 1-1 away at Crystal Palace.
The good news for Mikel Arteta ahead of the game is that he has a full week to get his squad ready and he could welcome back one or two players.
With that said, here is the latest Arsenal injury news and expected return dates.
The defender was back in the team after serving a one match suspension against Bournemouth, however, he was forced from the field in just the 23rd minute of the match after picking up what looked like an ankle injury.
Following the game, Arteta gave a worrying update on the player.
“The doctors are assessing him,” he said. “The first feeling he got wasn’t very positive.”
It has since been confirmed by the club that the defender has ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.
He has undergone surgery, meaning that he will be out of action for a period of between six to nine months in a major blow to Arteta and his team.
Hector Bellerin was originally named in the starting line-up for the game against West Ham, but picked up a hamstring complaint in the warm-up at London Stadium.
And he hasn’t been named in a matchday squad since.
There was good news on the full-back’s condition ahead of the Boxing Day clash vs Bournemouth, with the club confirming that he was “back in full training”.
Ahead of the Leeds game, Arsenal confirmed that the defender was “being assessed” but he was not risked.
Mikel Arteta stated in his pre-match press conference for Crystal Palace that the right-back was improving, but has only partially trained with the team so far, and is “still not there” in terms of returning to matches.
The Scottish left-back started the game against West Ham but had to be withdrawn after 29 minutes.
Tierney landed awkwardly in his own box, and picked up a shoulder injury. Sead Kolasinac came on to replace the former Celtic defender.
After the game, Freddie Ljungberg said: “Tierney, it’s something with his shoulder but I don’t know exactly what that is.
“We obviously had to take him off. He’s going to hospital to get it checked.”
The injury has since been confirmed as a dislocated shoulder, meaning Tierney will be out for the rest of the year and is unlikely to return until March 2020 at the earliest.
The midfielder was substituted early in the second half of the Europa League clash against Vitoria in October.
Ceballos pulled up with what looked like a hamstring problem while closing down an opponent and was replaced by Matteo Guendouzi in the 54th minute, despite appearing to want to continue.
The Spaniard was back in training ahead of the game against Bournemouth, but he did not make the squad for the trip to the South Coast nor was he involved against Chelsea three days later.
Ceballos was back on the bench for the win against Man United, but was an unused substitute for the game – the same happened against Leeds.
The midfielder was left out of the squad entirely for the draw against Crystal Palace although there has been no recurrence of the injury that has seen him miss the last couple of months.
The midfielder was replaced by Matteo Gunedouzi at half-time in the draw against Crystal Palace after impressing in the first half.
Following the match, Arteta gave an update on the 23-year-old.
“It’s a muscle injury, we will have to assess it with the doctors tomorrow or the day after then we will know more,” he said in his post-match press conference.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will serve a three-match ban following his red card at Selhurst Park, meaning that he will miss the clash against Sheffield United.
Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette were substituted against Palace, but it doesn’t seem that there is any injury worries over the duo.