Arsenal confirm Martin Odegaard has tested positive for Covid-19

Arsenal have confirmed Martin Odegaard has tested positive for Covid-19, ruling him out of their Carabao Cup semi final first leg with Liverpool on Thursday night.

The Norwegian has not been named in the squad, with Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah taking the attacking spots.

The Gunners confirmed the news with their starting XI post before the game and it seems extremely unlikely that Odegaard will be available to face Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday afternoon. Sead Kolasinac is also ruled out with a tight hamstring, though he is a fringe player and was unlikely to start ahead of Kieran Tierney.

Arsenal are already short staffed in midfield, with Emile Smith Rowe also not included in Thursday’s match day squad. Thomas Partey is on Africa Cup of Nations duty, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles recently departed for Roma on loan until the end of the season.

Granit Xhaka and Albert Sambi Lokonga take the central midfield spots on Thursday as the Gunners look to gain some revenge against a Liverpool side that has often beaten them comprehensively in recent years, especially at Anfield.

They lost last season’s Premier League games by an aggregate scoreline of 7-0. However, their last success against the Reds did come in the Carabao Cup last term, winning on penalties after a goalless draw on Merseyside.

As for Liverpool, they are without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, so Diogo Jota and Takumi Minamino start alongside Roberto Firmino in attack. Alisson has also come in, replacing normal cup goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

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