Arsenal host Liverpool in the highlight Premier League tie of the weekend at the Emirates Stadium and it will be the first ‘major’ English top-flight clash to take place on a Friday but both managers have plenty of injury concerns.
The match has been billed as a battle for fourth place, with Liverpool currently in the final UEFA Champions League spot while the fifth-ranked Gunners trail them by a solitary point.
Should Liverpool win, they will, at least temporarily, close to within a point of third-placed Chelsea.
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Both sides are not expected to challenge for the title, with runaway leaders Manchester City well ahead of the chasing pack.
The Gunners have lost Olivier Giroud to a hamstring injury, as the striker came off in their 1-0 win over West Ham United in mid-week. The Frenchhman is expected to return in January.
Aaron Ramsey is another player on the casualty list after injurying his hamstring last week and is another confirmed absentee along with Santi Cazorla (Achilles).
Central defender Shkodran Mustafi returned to first-team training earlier this week and is contention to start as his central midfielder Francis Coquelin.
Central defender Joel Matip, widely regarded as the Reds’ best option at the back is back in training but it remains to be seen whether Jurgen Klopp will risk the African on Friday night.
Injury-prone striker Daniel Sturridge, who has been struggling with muscular problems of late, is also set to feature.
Emre Can, subject of transfer speculation with the January transfer window nearly here as his contract is running out, is available for selection after missing one game due to yellow card accumulation.
Left-back Alberto Moreno is still a few weeks away from returning to the pitch and hence, will miss out on the trip the Emirates.
Match kicks off on Friday, 19.45 GMT/Saturday, 00.15 IST.