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Arsenal without seven first-team players including Nicolas Pepe for Standard Liege clash

Arsenal are expected to be without seven first-team players when they face Standard Liege in the final group stage game of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Dani Ceballos (hamstring) and Rob Holding (knee) were already on the sidelines prior to the West Ham United clash and they have now been joined by four of their teammates.

Hector Bellerin (tight hamstring) and Kieran Tierney (dislocated shoulder) sustained their setbacks on Monday night and the club’s official website has now confirmed that Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka are similarly out of contention for the first-team duties.

Pepe picked up a minor knee concern following the strong challenge from West Ham’s Aaron Cresswell and though, the Ivorian managed to play through the entire game, he has been ruled out of the Liege clash as a possible precaution.

Meanwhile, Xhaka looks set to miss the forthcoming matches against Liege and Manchester City as per the concussion protocols after he was hit on the head with the ball in the London derby earlier this week.

Aside from the injured players, Shkodran Mustafi will also miss the Europa League trip to Belgium due to an automatic one-game suspension for picking up three yellow cards in the group stage.

Arsenal are almost through to the round of 32 stage of the Europa League and only a defeat by five clear goals to Liege, would see the Belgian side overtake them on the head-to-head record.

Elsewhere, the Gunners need to finish at the top of the standings to be seeded for the round of 32 draw and for this, they face a must-win situation at Liege, unless Eintracht Frankfurt fail to beat Vitoria at home.

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