Arsenal have been dealt a major blow ahead of their Europa League clash against Napoli, with defender Laurent Koscielny and midfielder Granit Xhaka major doubts for the tie.
Koscielny is dealing with a foot injury, while Xhaka has had problems with his groin lately. The duo trained with the squad, but manager Unai Emery admitted that they will need to be assessed ahead of the match.
“We are going to assess tomorrow.they are improving and trained today with us.”
Major concerns for Arsenal
Koscielny’s absence would mean Arsenal might have to star Mustafi in the centre of defence. The German has had a torrid season and has attracted the wrath of the Gunners faithful following numerous slip-ups.
Xhaka, meanwhile, has pulled up his socks this campaign. Offering a commanding presence in midfield, the Swiss international has ensured Arsenal haven’t been overrun in games in the middle of the park.
Star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also a doubt. The Gabonese attacker has been struck down by illness and did not start Arsenal’s last couple of games.
Aubameyang is however expected to make the bench considering the Gunners’ lack of resources.
“He had a small problem. he has been taking antibiotics because he is sick. That is the reason he didn’t start the last two matches,” said Unai Emery during the pre-match press conference.
Will the Europa League specialist pull off a miracle?
Arsenal will welcome Napoli to the Emirates for the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal tie tomorrow. The return leg will be played on the 19th in Naples.
With Arsenal out of all the domestic cup competitions as well as the title race, the Europa League remains their only shot at silverware. Emery is considered a Europa League specialist, having lifted the trophy on multiple occasions in his previous stint with Sevilla, and he will look to do so again, this time with his new club.