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“We can’t catch a break”, “What the hell is happening?”


Arsenal fans were left incensed by their bad luck after Granit Xhaka was ruled out of their squad for their clash with Southampton on Friday (April 21).

The Gunners have been dealing with injury and fitness issues recently with William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu both sidelined. Meanwhile, Oleksandr Zinchenko missed the side’s 2-2 draw with West Ham United last Sunday (April 16) due to illness.

Xhaka may have caught the Ukrainian’s bug as the Swiss midfielder has failed to make Arsenal’s matchday squad against Southampton. It is a massive blow for Mikel Arteta’s side as they look to get back to winning ways.

The Gunners have been held to two consecutive 2-2 draws against West Ham and Liverpool. Manchester City are breathing down their necks, trailing the league leaders by just four points with a game in hand.

Xhaka has been in fine form for Arteta’s side this season, playing in an advanced role and flourishing. He has bagged seven goals and five assists in 41 games across competitions.

However, there is no place for him in Arsenal’s team to take on the Saints at the Emirates tonight. Fabio Vieira instead comes in for the Swiss midfielder and will be out to impress amid his struggle for game time this season.

Aaron Ramsdale starts in goal, with Ben White, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Zinchenko in defense. Vieira is joined by Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard in midfield. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus line up in attack.

Arsenal fans’ reactions to Arteta’s starting lineup have been centered around Xhaka’s absence. One fan rued his side’s bad luck:

“What’s wrong with Xhaka? We can’t catch a break.”

Another fan alluded to Zinchenko’s absence from last weekend:

“Last week it was Zinny, today it’s Xhaka. What da hell is happening?”

Here’s how Twitter reacted to Xhaka missing the clash with Southampton:

@Arsenal @gabimartinelli If we go at the Etihad without Xhaka and Saliba we are in for a humiliation 😭 just win tonight that’s all

Xhaka must be proper ill because he’s nails.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insists that Bukayo Saka isn’t undroppable

Mikel Arteta (right) comments on Bukayo Saka's place in his side.
Mikel Arteta (right) comments on Bukayo Saka’s place in his side.

Saka has enjoyed a season to remember at the Emirates, cementing himself as one of the best attackers in the Premier League. He has scored 13 goals and contributed 10 assists in 41 games.

The English winger is one of the first names on Arteta’s teamsheet as he is a key part of the Gunners’ frontline. However, his manager has claimed that Saka isn’t undroppable, but he has earned the right to be handed regular game time. He said (via the Daily Cannon):

“Nobody is undroppable, but he has earned the right to play, and consistently play for the team because he has been exceptional for us.”

Arteta then touched on Saka’s penalty miss from the 2-2 draw with West Ham. The forward spurned the chance to put his side 3-1 ahead:

“Every player has self-doubts because there are always things to improve, things that you look back and [say] ‘I should have done better in the game’. Always.”

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