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Arsenal handed suspension blow for West Ham game

Arsenal have been handed a suspension blow with midfielder Kai Havertz ruled out of the Premier League derby against West Ham United next week.

The London giants maintained their top spot in the top-flight table on Saturday evening after a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield. Gabriel Magalhaes scored for the Gunners after 4 minutes on the clock but Mohamed Salah equalised before the half-an-hour mark.

Liverpool were by far the better attacking team after the half-time break. They had one glorious opportunity to find the winner with 5 players having just Declan Rice and the goalkeeper to beat, but Trent Alexander-Arnold hit the crossbar with his effort.

The game ended all square at Anfield and Arsenal will be top at Christmas as a result. The club will be back in action against West Ham on Tuesday, December 28. Prior to the game, they will be without Havertz after his 5th booking of the league campaign.

The ex-Chelsea man needlessly conceded a foul trying to stop Wataru Endo, just seconds before the half-time interval. He managed to keep his composure in the 2nd half with the booking but will now miss the London derby before the end of the year.

Havertz has been in good scoring form with 4 goals for the Gunners since the start of November. He scored a late match-winning goal at Brentford and also bagged the equaliser at 3-3 at Luton Town. Arsenal went on to win 4-3 in dramatic fashion.

His goal scoring ability will be missed against David Moyes’ team. Gunners manager Mikel Arteta could go with Leandro Trossard in the absence of the £48 million star. He did so versus Wolverhampton Wanderers where the club secured a 2-1 triumph.

If Arteta wishes to go more defensive, Jorginho or Mohamed Elneny could play in the starting XI. This could see Rice move into the no.8 position. Arsenal have back-to-back derbies before 2024. They face Fulham at Craven Cottage on New Year’s Eve.

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