Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga will miss Saturday’s meeting with Leeds United after testing positive for Covid-19.
The 22-year-old had been expected to be in contention for minutes, with manager Mikel Arteta keen to rotate his side as they strap themselves in for the hectic winter schedule.
Unfortunately, a positive Covid-19 test has ruled Lokonga out of Saturday’s game, with Arsenal confirming that Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka will retain their places at the base of midfield instead.
The Gunners managed to keep the test result quiet as there was no mention of Lokonga’s absence in Arsenal‘s pre-match build-up, with only Bernd Leno (groin) and Sead Kolasinac (ankle) named as missing for the game.
Striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also remains away from the side, having been instructed to train by himself up until the African Cup of Nations.
There are actually no changes to Arteta’s side from the lineup that saw off West Ham in midweek. Aaron Ramsdale keeps his place in goal, with Takehiro Tomiyasu, Gabriel, Benjamin White and Kieran Tierney ahead of him.
Bukayo Saka joins Partey and Xhaka in midfield, and it looks as though Gabriel Martinelli will start out on the wing, although he will likely be rotating with Martin Odegaard, who was deployed as a striker alongside Alexandre Lacazette against West Ham.
With so many other games postponed, Arsenal’s spot in fourth place is secure for now and Arteta’s side can move four points clear of West Ham with a victory here.
The Gunners are on a run of two straight victories and will be favourites to pick up the points on Saturday against a Leeds side who are without what feels like 1,000 players through various injuries.