As almost exclusively revealed yesterday by ArsenalShorts, Henrikh Mkhitaryan won’t be joining the rest of the squad in Azerbaijan as we prepare to face Qarabag tonight.
He was left out of the squad due to international tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and Unai Emery confirmed he won’t be available:
“He cannot travel here. We are here, the players with the best mentality and preparation and possibility to play tomorrow. My work is football. I respect each person, I respect each people, I respect each culture, I respect each country, but I don’t know each situation in every country. For me, he cannot play…”
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Sead Kolasinac could make the game, taking the pressure off Nacho Monreal in the left back slot after missing most of the season with an injury.
It’s also been revealed that Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also didn’t travel to Azerbaijan, as Ramsey’s wife is expecting twins, while Aubameyang has a touch of the Ozils and fancies a week off, so he’s officially ‘ill’ (Oz-ill).
Leno may start in goal, but it could also be a chance to see Martinez who could deputise, and Emery could save Leno for Sunday’s game at Fulham.
The game kicks off early, so make your excuses to get out of work early!