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An unlikely scenario that could sees Bukayo Saka miss Arsenal double-header vs Man City and Chelsea

An unlikely scenario that could sees Bukayo Saka miss Arsenal double-header vs Man City and Chelsea

After the recent round of Premier League games and the first international break of the season, it is now officially the critical period of the 2022/23 season, and Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is well aware of the importance of having all his players available for selection.

 Despite claims to the contrary, Arteta has not been able to choose from a full squad for most of this season, and he was dealt a double injury blow in Arsenal’s Europa League defeat to Sporting CP on Thursday.

 During the game, both William Saliba and Takehiro Tomiyasu suffered injuries, and early indications suggest that Tomiyasu’s injury may keep him out of action for a while.


 Arteta commented that he is uncertain about the extent of Tomiyasu’s injury but that it appears to be serious, while Saliba had to be substituted due to discomfort.

“I don’t know. Tomiyasu looks pretty serious from his reaction straight and what he said to me, but obviously, it’s very early,” Arteta said. 

“Willy? I don’t know, he had some discomfort and could not continue so we had to take him out.

“We’ve been carrying injuries throughout the season. We had Emile out for four months, Jesus for four months, Thomas for a month and a half, Alex for two and half months, Eddie for a month and a half. We had quite a lot of injuries already, but we dealt with them. The disappointment is not going to go away it’s there now. But there’s also clarity. It’s 11 games to go now and we have a final against Crystal Palace. We have to recover and put all the focus there and win.”

Along with the desire to have some of his injured players back for the game against Crystal Palace on Sunday, Arsenal’s manager may also need to take into account the potential risk of a two-game suspension for one of his important players while deciding on his starting line-up for the London derby at the Emirates Stadium. 

Although the possibility of a suspension is unlikely, it still needs to be factored in by the manager while selecting his team.

The FA’s ‘Information for Players on Disciplinary Procedures’ for the 2022-23 season, released at the start of the campaign, confirmed that any player who receives 10 yellow cards before the 32nd match will have to serve a two-game ban automatically.

 As Arsenal have played 27 Premier League games so far this season, Bukayo Saka is the only player in Arteta’s squad who could still potentially receive two yellow cards and serve a suspension. 

The cut-off point for the suspension is after the match against Southampton on April 21st.

Bukayo Saka has received five yellow cards so far this season, and if he gets booked in each of the next five games against Palace, Leeds United, Liverpool, West Ham United, and Southampton, he will have accumulated 10 yellow cards before the cut-off point, resulting in a two-match ban.

 This means that he would miss the games against Manchester City and Chelsea.

 To avoid this suspension, Saka needs to avoid getting booked in Arsenal’s upcoming fixtures, starting with the game against Crystal Palace.

 However, it is unlikely that Arteta will choose to leave Saka out of the starting line-up to protect him from receiving a yellow card.

Even if Bukayo Saka receives a yellow card against Crystal Palace, he will still have four games left to avoid being suspended. 

He has proven earlier in the season, ahead of games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, that he knows how to be cautious and avoid picking up yellow cards when necessary. Other Arsenal players who have received four yellow cards include Gabriel Jesus, Saliba, Granit Xhaka, Benjamin White, Gabriel Magalhaes, and captain Martin Odegaard. 

Gabriel Martinelli has three yellow cards, while Eddie Nketiah, Thomas Partey, Tomiyasu, and Oleksandr Zinchenko have two each.

 However, the good news for Arteta is that none of these players are at risk of being suspended through this scenario since only a red card can result in a suspension between now and the end of the season.

An unlikely scenario that could sees Bukayo Saka miss Arsenal double-header vs Man City and Chelsea

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