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Arsenal vs Everton: Gunners suffer injury blow as defender limps off

The 30-year-old defender is one of their leaders at the back.

SNS | New Delhi |

Arsenal fans had their hearts in their mouths as key defender Sokratis came off injured in the first-half of their Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday.

The Greek defender has been a calming presence at the back since his summer arrival and his absence does leave the North Londoners a tad bit exposed at the back.

With Per Mertesacker having retired and Laurent Koscielny out with an Achilles injury, Sokratis is one of the few Arsenal defenders with a wealth of top-flight experience.

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The 30-year-old is now a major doubt for their midweek Carabao Cup clash with Brentford.

The Gunners host the lower-league side on Wednesday night before focusing their attentions towards their Premier League clash with Watford on Saturday (1930 IST).

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In Sokratis’ absence, Rob Holding is expected to deputise and partner Shkodran Mustafi in central defence for the Gunners.

The Greek defender is expected to undergo tests on Monday and only then will the club be able to provide a definitive timetable on his return to action.

Arsenal have recovered from a difficult start to move up to 9th in the Premier League table and could move up to sixth spot if they manage to beat Everton at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

At half-time, the teams were deadlocked at 0-0, with Everton enjoying the better chances despite Arsenal dominating possession.

The Gunners have won their previous three games on the trot, after having lost their opening two fixtures of the season.

Everton, under new manager Marco Silva, have been inconsistent but remain a dangerous outfit.