Heading into the most crucial stretch of matches Arsenal has had in at least a couple seasons, Unai Emery sought to relieve fans by indicating that Aaron Ramsey, who came off the pitch with a slight twinge, and Laurent Koscielny, sidelined last night with a foot boo-boo, should be available for selection this coming Sunday away at Everton. However, the status of Granit Xhaka heading into that hazardous match away from the Emirates appears much less certain.
Xhaka, nursing a groin injury picked up on international duty, missed out entirely during yesterday’s much-needed victory at home versus Newcastle United, with Matteo Guendouzi putting in a less-than-spectacular performance in his place. With Lucas Torreira due to miss the final match of his three-game suspension as a result of the red card he picked up in the fiery derby on March 2nd, it seems very likely that Emery will select the French youngster again if Xhaka is unable to return to proper health. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should also be in contention for selection this weekend, having made an appearance last night in spite of running a fever.
At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s imperative that Arsenal protect the health of their first-team players as much as possible now that they have a two-point lead on the scum up the road and control their own destiny with a fixture list that should be more navigable than the teams they’re competing against for the final Champions League spots. If you’re the type to pray for good things to happen to those you love the most, now’s the time to start including Arsenal in your requests.