Arsenal Dealt Major Injury Blow Ahead Of Liverpool Showdown

By on December 29, 2018

Arsenal-Mesut-Ozil-2018

Arsenal have been dealt a major blow after Mesut Ozil was ruled out of this evening’s crucial showdown with Liverpool at Anfield due to a knee injury.

Ozil was expected to be in contention for a starting spot against the Premier League leaders this evening after training with the rest of the Arsenal first team squad at London Colney on Friday afternoon.

However, the 30-year-old wasn’t among the travelling party that arrived on Merseyside on Friday night and reports soon emerged that the playmaker was forced out of the squad with a knee injury.

BBC journalist David Ornstein reported on social media that Ozil complained of pain in his knee after training on Friday and Arsenal staff decided to leave him out of the squad to face Liverpool later today.

This latest injury has reignited speculation of a rift between Ozil and boss Unai Emery with the Arsenal coach reportedly concerned about the attackers lack of work off the ball – particularly in tough away games.

Ozil had been a regular in the starting eleven during the first half of the season but was left out of the squad to face Bournemouth in late November due to an apparent back injury and missed the subsequent games with Tottenham, Man Utd and Huddersfield.

The German playmaker made a late cameo off the bench during Arsenal’s 3-2 defeat at Southampton before being left out of the squad by Emery due to ‘tactical reasons’ for the League Cup quarter-final with Tottenham.

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Ozil started for the Gunners during their 3-1 home win over Burnley but was hauled off at half-time during the 1-1 draw with Brighton on Boxing Day after a poor forty-five minutes.

It remains to be seen how serious this latest ‘knee injury’ is but Ozil’s absence today is a big blow for Arsenal and it leaves Emery with one less option in attack as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Danny Welbeck are also on the sidelines.

Arsenal head to Anfield sitting fifth in the table – two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and 13 adrift of Liverpool – so the north Londoners desperately need to come away with a positive result.

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