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Arteta alarmed by growing Arsenal injury list after Leeds draw

London (AFP) – Mikel Arteta is frustrated at Arsenal’s growing injury list after losing two more players in their goalless draw at Leeds as his team prepares for six matches in the next three weeks.

With Thomas Partey, Pablo Mari and Gabriel Martinelli all sidelined heading into Sunday’s game, winger Willian and Bukayo Saka failed to finish the contest after respectively picking up a muscular problem and what appeared to be a knee injury.

Mohamed Elneny and Sead Kolasinac were also unavailable at Elland Road after testing positive for Covid-19 on international duty, while Nicolas Pepe was sent off for an apparent headbutt which could lead to a three-match suspension.

“We had it really difficult for different reasons because we lost two players on international duty,” said Arteta.

“We have now lost two players to injury and one through suspension and we have an incredible amount of games coming up.”

Arsenal begin their packed schedule — a run which also includes a north London derby with Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur — with a Europa League game away at Norwegian side Molde on Thursday.

The Gunners are 11th in the Premier League following Sunday’s stalemate, seven points behind Spurs and reigning champions Liverpool.

“Every team is going to face challenges with the amount of fixtures we have,” Arteta said.

“We will see what happens but we will put a team (out against Molde) to compete in the way that we do now. Let’s hope that we can get some (players) back.”

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