MIKEL ARTETA has dealt Arsenal fans a double injury blow.
That’s after confirming two first-team stars will miss tonight’s “final” against title rivals Manchester City.
Arsenal are just five points above the defending champions after three disastrous draws.
City can close that gap to just two points with victory at the Etihad this evening.
And Pep Guardiola’s men will still have two games in hand as they eye a historic treble.
Arsenal know they must win to stand any chance of lifting their first Premier League title since 2004.
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But Arteta has revealed he will definitely be without star defender William Saliba, who has been absent with a back injury since last month’s Europa League exit to Sporting Lisbon.
And midfield engine Granit Xhaka also remains a serious doubt after missing the 3-3 draw with Southampton due to illness.
Arteta confirmed: “There has not been real improvement on him.
“It is another week that has gone by and he has not been able to train with the team.
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“At the moment we don’t have him. The [Chelsea] game will also come too close.
“Granit has been out, hopefully he will be able to train today. He is still a doubt.”
Arsenal aren’t the only ones with injury problems ahead of tonight’s game.
Dutch defender Nathan Ake picked up a hamstring injury in the Champions League win over Bayern Munich.
And he has not recovered in time to return to the side this evening.
It means Aymeric Laporte is set to line up on the left of City’s back three.
Phil Foden is also fit enough to start after several sub appearances following appendix surgery.
But he is unlikely to displace Jack Grealish, with Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva already battling it out on the other flank.
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