William Saliba hasn’t featured for Arsenal since the defeat to Sporting which lead to the Gunners’ Europa League exit early last month. Here is an update on his fitness ahead of the big clash at Anfield this weekend.
According to the Evening Standard, William Saliba is a serious doubt to face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, however he’s being assessed on a day-by-day basis.
The Frenchman had started every Premier League game for the Gunners so far this season before picking up this lower back injury which has kept him out of the last two games against Leeds & Crystal Palace.
Rob Holding has come in and done a decent job next to Gabriel with Arsenal winning the last two games, however Liverpool at Anfield is a whole different beast and Arsenal fans are praying William Saliba makes it in time for the game on Sunday. The Frenchman could be the difference between Arsenal staying eight points clear, or Manchester City cutting the gap if the Gunners fail to win.
The club continue to be vague on a timeframe for Saliba’s return, unlike Takehiro Tomiyasu who was injured in the same game and has been ruled out for the season.
Mikel Arteta last week said:
“He is progressing. He still has some discomfort in his back. We are trying to manage him in the best possible way.”
Saliba has not yet returned to training and faces an uphill battle to be back in time to face Liverpool, however he’s not been completely ruled out yet so there is hope.
When Zinchenko was nursing an injury earlier on in the season, Mikel Arteta only picked him for games he thought he needed him in and we could see the same with William Saliba, if the player can get himself fit enough to last 90 minutes.
Zinchenko only featured in two games against Manchester United and Tottenham throughout September & October when he was struggling with a calf issue, as Mikel Arteta thought the Ukrainian could be the difference between Arsenal winning and losing them matches.
Them games for Saliba would most likely be Anfield this weekend and also trips to the Etihad and St James’ park still to come, however this will only happen if the Frenchman can last 90 minutes without too much discomfort.
Arsenal will make a final decision on Saliba closer to Sunday’s game, but Rob Holding is in line to start in his place again as it stands.
Arsenal have not won a League game at Anfield since September 2012, but with the Gunners sitting top of the Premier League and Liverpool currently in 8th place, they won’t get a better chance to rewrite that record than this weekend.