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Arsenal without 5 players vs. Liverpool after injuries, AFCON and Asian Cup exits

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be without five first-team players for the visit of Liverpool in the FA Cup, with two departing for mid-season tournaments.

Liverpool head to the Emirates on Sunday with nine senior players out, with Dominik Szoboszlai (injury), Mohamed Salah (AFCON) and Wataru Endo (Asian Cup) the latest unavailable.

They join Andy Robertson, Kostas Tsimikas, Joel Matip, Thiago, Stefan Bajcetic and Ben Doak on the absentee list, with Jurgen Klopp particularly limited in midfield.

Arsenal may find themselves at an advantage for the third-round tie, then, not least due to their next game being almost two weeks later.

By contrast, Liverpool will play again three days after, with the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Fulham cutting into the Premier League‘s winter break.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2022: Arsenal's Oleksandr Zinchenko waves to the supporters after the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City FC at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal won 4-2. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arteta has a more favourable injury situation, too, with the manager suggesting in his pre-match press conference that Oleksandr Zinchenko could be fit to return from a calf issue.

“He is progressing well,” Arteta told reporters on Friday.

“We have another training session tomorrow and we will assess whether he’s ready to start the game.”

But Arsenal will still be without Jurrien Timber, Thomas Partey and Fabio Vieira, along with two players departing on international duty.

Takehiro Tomiyasu has joined Endo in the Japan squad for the Asian Cup, while Mohamed Elneny will be captained by Salah as part of Egypt’s squad at the Africa Cup of Nations.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 13, 2022: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Leicester City FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Arteta made three changes to his starting lineup for the trip to Fulham on New Year’s Eve, and it brought a second consecutive defeat.

Jakub Kiwior started at left-back, but was replaced by Tomiyasu at half-time – though if Zinchenko is not passed fit, the Pole is likely to be retained against Liverpool.

Gabriel Jesus can be expected to take over from Eddie Nketiah up front, though there remains a chance Arteta rotates his side slightly.

Aaron Ramsdale, Jorginho, Emile Smith Rowe, Leandro Trossard and Reiss Nelson are all candidates to come in.

Possible Arsenal XI vs. Liverpool: Ramsdale; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Rice, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Saka, Trossard, Jesus