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Arsenal suffer William Saliba blow ahead of Man City clash with defender set to miss Southampton match

Arsenal suffer William Saliba blow ahead of Man City clash with defender set to miss Southampton match

This is not good news for Gunners fans.

William Saliba is expected to miss Arsenal's next match against Southampton on Friday, according to reports.

Table topping Arsenal host bottom of the league Southampton on Friday evening, in a contest that will have ramifications at both ends of the scale.

Mikel Arteta will be keen to make up for lost ground against West Ham, which saw the Gunners blow a 2-0 lead for the second match in a row.

But should they seal all three points against Southampton, they will be seven points clear of second-placed Manchester City, albeit having played two more games than Pep Guardiola's side.

However, in a significant blow for fans, they are expected to be without Saliba for Friday's match-up.

Arsenal suffer Saliba injury blow

Saliba went down holding his back during Arsenal's Europa League defeat to Sporting Lisbon last March, and has not featured for the club since.

In a boost for supporters, the Frenchman was pictured on an exercise bike next to fellow injured absentee Mohamed Elneny on Tuesday.

But it seems Friday's clash will come too soon for the 21-year-old, claim Football London, who state that the Gunners are assessing him on a daily basis.

Although the club are refusing to rule him out of their mouth-watering contest against Manchester City next Wednesday, in what looks to be a title-deciding six-pointer at the Etihad.

Saliba has been a driving force behind the Gunners' extraordinary title charge this season, forming a formidable partnership alongside Gabriel Magalhaes.

While his absence was sorely missed in consecutive 2-2 draws against Liverpool and West Ham, with Arsenal guilty of throwing away 2-0 leads.

Elsewhere in the squad, Oleksandr Zinchenko is expected to return against Southampton, after he was ruled out of action against West Ham with a groin issue.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: William Saliba, Arsenal, Manchester City, Southampton, Football, Premier League, Mikel Arteta