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Arsenal’s full-back woes: Bellerin late scratch from XI to face West Ham/Tierney forced off


Arsenal have this evening been dealt a pair of defensive blows, before and during the club’s crunch meeting with West Ham United.

Arsenal visit West Ham

The Gunners are currently locked in action with Manuel Pellegrini’s men, at the London Stadium.

Both sides headed into proceedings desperate for all 3 points, amid dismal respective recent spells of form.

Hosts West Ham had notched just a solitary win across their last 10 outings across all competitions before tonight.

Arsenal, meanwhile, were winless in their last 9 fixtures, a run which cost Unai Emery his job 2 weeks ago.

Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg’s stint in charge, though, has not yet proven any more successful than the final weeks of his predecessor’s reign, with the north Londoners having followed a draw with relegation-battling Norwich 2 weekends ago with a 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton last time out.

As such, ahead of kick-off, Arsenal sat in the bottom half of the Premier League table, just 4 points clear of the relegation zone.

Arsenal’s full-back woes

The announcement of the Gunners’ starting XI ahead of kick-off, though, saw large sections of the club’s fanbase express excitement at the prospect of their side getting things back on track this evening.

Freddie Ljungberg opted to drop the likes of David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette, in favour of Calum Chambers at centre-half, and an exciting front-4 of Nicolas Pepe, Mesut Ozil, Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang:

As showcased above, meanwhile, the original full-back pairing due to represent the visitors this evening were Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney.

The last hour, though, has incredibly seen Arsenal forced to shake things up on both sides of their backline.

First, in the warmup before kick-off, Bellerin pulled up with an injury, resulting in his last-minute withdrawal from the Gunners squad:

And, with half an hour on the clock, the away side’s left-back was also forced down the tunnel, as Tierney appeared to dislocate his shoulder in an innocuous coming together with Michail Antonio:

Adding insult to injury is the scoreline at the interval, with Arsenal set to take to the pitch for the second-half a goal down.

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