GRANIT XHAKA has asked not to play against Leicester on Saturday, leaving Arsenal without two key midfielders.
Unai Emery revealed before the trip to the King Power Stadium that Dani Ceballos is also missing due to a hamstring complaint.
In the midweek draw at Vitoria, the Spanish midfielder had to come off early in the second-half and won’t recover in time for the 5.30pm kick-off.
The only other confirmed absentee is the now former captain Xhaka, who is yet to feature since reacting angrily to fans’ boos when subbed off against Crystal Palace.
And the Swiss midfielder has chosen to sit out the Leicester clash after coach Emery took the armband off him.
The Gunners boss told reporters on Friday: “I spoke with him on Tuesday about how he’s feeling now and how he is in his mind.
“He’s working well, he’s training well, but he said to me that he’s not feeling good enough at the moment to play.
“We are going to wait.”
Arsenal deployed a 4-3-1-2 against Wolves last weekend but their lack of central midfielders may make that tough to reenact.
Wednesday saw a 3-4-3 favoured to allow Nicolas Pepe back into the XI as the under-pressure Emery sought to revamp his side.
Mesut Ozil didn’t feature in the Europa League and, after a strong return to the team, is in line for another outing on Saturday.
Emery praised the German’s effort in training but only admitted to him starting as a “possibility”.
The coach added: “He’s training well and I think he’s now being consistent in training, he’s also helping and he’s also positive.
“I am thinking about him for tomorrow, for the possibility to play.”
Arsenal travel to Leicester with the Foxes one of the Premier League’s most in-form teams.
Sitting third and six points clear of the fifth-placed Gunners, Emery knows victory will be a huge boost to his ailing Champions League qualification hopes.
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He said: “We need to win and it’s very important for us tomorrow.
“But our mentality is every time to play first, using our best structure and organisation to be strong and also our individual players to use their quality to win.
“But in our mind, for each match it is only to win.”
This post written by Marc Mayo originally appeared on Football news - transfers, fixtures, scores, pictures | The Sun. Read the full post here.