Arsenal confirm unwelcome injury blow ahead of Wolves clash
Soccer Football – Premier League – Arsenal v Manchester United – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – January 30, 2021 Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta prepares to substitute on Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard [Pool via REUTERS/Shaun Botterill]

Arsenal could be without six first-teamers for Tuesday’s trip to Wolves, with one of Mikel Arteta’s key men already ruled out of the clash entirely.

The Gunners go to Molineux seeking to take advantage of the fact that they are one of the first teams in action this midweek, with a win taking them as high as sixth in the table for a short period at least.

That would be above both Tottenham and Chelsea, although Spurs would hold two games in hand on them and the Blues would have one.

Mikel Arteta’s side would in all likelihood tumble back down the division once other clubs have played their games, but a win would at least prolong the feeling that Arteta has steered the Gunners through their rough patch this season.

Arsenal are assessing the fitness of Dani Ceballos, Pablo Mari and Bukayo Saka before the trip to face Wolves, while goalkeeper Mat Ryan has been ruled out with a sore hip.

Another player definitely out is left-back Kieran Tierney as he continues to nurse a lower leg injury.

Arsenal confirm unwelcome injury blow ahead of Wolves clash
Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (L) high-fives Arsenal’s English striker Bukayo Saka (R) as Saka goes off substituted during the English Premier League football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on July 4, 2020. (Photo by Michael Steele / POOL / AFP)

The Scot missed the weekend goalless draw with Manchester United, with Cedric Soares filling in at left-back.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could return to the side having taking part in training following compassionate leave to be with his sick mother, although Arteta says he isn’t sure whether he can play due to quarantining laws.

“There’s still some things to clear up,” he said.

“Maybe yes, maybe no. We don’t know. We’re still doing some paperwork at the moment.”

Alexandre Lacazette is set to feature despite needing to go to hospital after an awkward fall during the United game.

“We have to follow the protocols, we have to test him and make an x-ray,” said Arteta.

“He was completely fine after the game, he was fine yesterday, he has slept well and I’m expecting him to be available.”

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