Arsenal injury news and predicted XI as Mikel Arteta faces defensive crisis

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta during a training session at London Colney on May 15, 2022 in St Albans, England. 

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta knows he may have to field a makeshift defence if Ben White is not fit to start against Newcastle United. The Gunners boss did not sound confident that White or Gabriel Magalhaes would return from injury when he spoke with the press earlier this week.

Last week's defeat to arch rivals Tottenham Hotspur, not only closed the gap to fourth place, but saw Arsenal finish the game with ten men. A red card for Rob Holding means he'll also be absent for the Gunners tonight.

“It's a good question,” Arteta told Football London when asked about the status of players who might be available including White and Gabriel. “We will know probably more tomorrow, so we wanted to extend this period as much as possible to understand how they are recovering, how they are feeling, assess them and tomorrow probably we will know more about how they are."

He added: “I could [give you an estimate], but I will probably be telling you whatever! Tomorrow will be the day we will have better answers, probably not the answers that we want until matchday, but hopefully better answers.”

There has been plenty of debate among the Arsenal fanbase, but there poses further problems for Arteta if he were to call upon some academy youngsters. Arsenal defender Omar Rekik is on holiday after the U23s season finished and Arteta is reluctant to throw academy players in at the deep end, meaning Alex Kirk or Jonathan Dinzeyi are unlikely to feature.

“We will have to modify certain positions to try to make it work because we don't have more defenders and even though we have academy players. They haven't experienced a lot of those positions because they're not specified central defenders, so it's something that we will try to find a way,” explained Arteta.

The Gunners are also without Kieran Tierney who won't play again this season and midfield general Thomas Partey, who picked up a thigh injury against Crystal Palace.

Arsenal predicted XI: Ramsdale, Cedric, Xhaka, Tomiyasu, Tavares, Odegaard, Elneny, Smith-Rowe, Saka, Martinelli, Nketiah.

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