Arsenal have confirmed that trio Granit Xhaka, Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka are all fit for tonight’s Europa League tie with Slavia Prague.
The trio of players were a big miss for the Gunners during Saturday’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool, where the team were swept aside and struggled in attack.
However, Mikel Arteta has confirmed that the three players will be back for the crucial clash as Arsenal look to bounce back from their Premier League disappointment.
Arteta said: “Today [yesterday] is the day when they are going to be training fully with the team and we’ll see how they feel.”
Can Arsenal win the Europa League?
Arsenal’s reliance on three players paints a dreary picture of where the club is at in its progression to reaching their former glories.
The loss to the Merseysiders was a sign of just how important Smith Rowe, Saka and Xhaka have become since the 3-1 win over Chelsea back in December.
Progression of the ball into the final third was almost non-existent with the Gunners having just four touches in the opposition box in the first half. Xhaka has been a reliant passer of the ball this season, producing the most long balls per game of any player.
Meanwhile, the attacking threat proved pretty scarce with Arsenal having just three shots on Liverpool’s goal, garnering an xG of just 0.09. And when you factor in the fact their three most expensive signings of all time featured in attack, it proves an embarrassing statistic.
Meanwhile, Saka and Smith Rowe have been a wall of consistency in the final third, contributing 13 and 11 goals this campaign.
With the three crucial players back for tonight, you’d imagine there will be a more fluid and consistent performance in midfield and attack after what was the one of the worst performances of the season.