Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been ruled out for tomorrow’s crucial match versus CSKA Moscow in the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 with an apparent nasty bout of the shits and pukes (but hey, at least he didn’t get poisoned with a nerve agent).
Update on our squad for #CSKAvAFC— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) April 11, 2018
Granit hasn't travelled due to flu pic.twitter.com/O4naARZof8
The assumption now is that Arsene Wenger will turn to Mohamed Elneny to hold the midfield down, with Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey in front and to the side of him, respectively.
The Gunners are already down the services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who had his knee ligament “touched” in last Thursday’s 4-1 victory in the first leg (which is better than getting Novichok slipped in your sports drink bottle while you’re out on the pitch warming up before the match), and now with the absence of Xhaka they’re down another player who plays a vital role in the attacking buildup play. As a result, Alex Iwobi figures to get Mkhitaryan’s minutes while he’s out injured.
The good news, if there is anything good about barfing and having liquid shits, is that Elneny played very well this past weekend in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Southampton, with Iwobi shining and having perhaps one of his finer matches of the season. The hope, at this point, is the carryover from that match to tomorrow is relatively seamless and they come back from Moscow advancing to the semifinals of the Europa League and without anyone poisoned from a nerve agent.