Arsenal are said to be optimistic as they assess their squad numbers before the game against Liverpool despite the Daily Mail suggesting the fixture could be in doubt.

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) speaks witj Arsenal's English midfielder Bukayo Saka (L) during the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 13, 2022. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) speaks witj Arsenal’s English midfielder Bukayo Saka (L) during the English League Cup semi-final first leg football match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on January 13, 2022. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

With Arsenal running out of players ahead of the North London derby, and Covid still doing its thing in their camp, the Daily Mail are today reporting that “Arsenal will assess their squad before deciding if they have enough senior players available to fulfil Thursday’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg at home to Liverpool”.

Daily Mail, 18 January 2022
Daily Mail, 18 January 2022

Arsenal, however, are now said to be optimistic that the game will go ahead:

Martin Odegaard is currently out with Covid, while a second case was also reported.

In addition, although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is heading back to Arsenal, he is doing so for tests on heart lesions he suffered due to Covid.

Aubameyang’s case perfectly highlights why active positive cases is not the sole criteria for getting a game postponed.

Odegaard to return: How Arsenal could line up vs Liverpool

Auba will clearly not be fit to play but, some would say, as he is no longer an active positive case, he should not count.

Yet it is precisely because of Covid that Aubameyang will not be available for selection now that he’s back at Arsenal.

I expect the game to go ahead against Liverpool on Thursday night but it is by no means guaranteed.

Should it be postponed, I also expect another tidal of wave of Arsenal-flavoured outrage.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.