Arsenal without five first-team stars for Manchester City clash

Arsenal are expected to be without five first-team players when they tackle Manchester City in Sunday’s Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Rob Holding (knee) and Dani Ceballos (hamstring) have been sidelined since the early weeks of November and the Gunners have confirmed that the duo won’t be available for the weekend game.

Ceballos has already suggested that he could return to first-team action by Boxing Day but Holding may have to wait until the turn of the year after another untimely setback.

Aside from the duo, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney are likewise in the treatment room after their injuries sustained at West Ham United earlier this week.

Bellerin has a tight hamstring which should keep him out of the Cityzens clash, but Tierney is expected to be out of action until March at the least as he requires a surgery for a dislocated right shoulder.

Apart from the quartet, the north London giants won’t be able to utilise the services of Granit Xhaka in the midfield after the Switzerland international sustained a blow to his head at West Ham for which he was substituted.

The ex-Gunners captain was struck on the head by an attempted cross from Arthur Masuaku on Monday night and that has made him unavailable for selection as per the concussion protocols.

Meanwhile, Nicolas Pepe was recently deemed doubtful for the Cityzens clash after picking up a knee bruising at West Ham but he has been given the green light to feature on Sunday.

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