Kieran Tierney was omitted from Arsenal’s Premier League squad to face Crystal Palace on Thursday night as a precaution due to muscle tightness.
The Scotland international has been one of the Gunners’ most impressive performers in recent weeks, playing a key role in their sudden upturn in form.
Tierney scored and assisted during the 4-0 win over West Brom earlier in January before assisting another in the 2-0 FA Cup victory against West Brom, but Arsenal revealed prior to their fixture with Palace that he would miss out due to muscle tightness.
Centre back Pablo Mari was also omitted as a precautionary measure due to tightness in his calf.
However, there was better news on Ghanian midfielder Thomas Partey. The former Atletico Madrid star was included in the matchday squad, having featured last for Arsenal in the 2-0 defeat to north London rivals Tottenham in early December.
With Tierney out, utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles will slot in at left back, with David Luiz partnering Rob Holding – who recently signed a new contract with the club – in central defence.
Mikel Arteta’s side can move up to tenth with a win against the Eagles in what is a very congested Premier League mid-table – victory would see them sit just six points behind both Everton and Leicester, though they will have played a game more.
Palace, on the other hand, are a point behind the Gunners. They won their most recent league outing – a 2-0 stroll against Sheffield United, having previously gone five games without a victory.