Arsenal

Arsenal: Granit Xhaka could return for clash versus Liverpool

Arsenal: Granit Xhaka could return for clash versus Liverpool

Granit Xhaka could return for the club’s top of the table clash versus Liverpool on Saturday, according to Football London journalist Tashan Deniran-Alleyne.

The Switzerland international missed the game against Burnley after suffering bruising to his lower back and leg. The injury saw him train separately to the first-team squad before the first home game of the season with the club’s fitness coaches.

Arsenal have won their first two games of a Premier League season for the first time since 2009 following wins against both Newcastle United and Burnley.

Xhaka has been a crucial part of Arsenal’s team over recent seasons, however, the game against Liverpool may not be the right fixture to throw him back into the team. The Swiss has a bad habit of making errors and made the second most leading to goals last season (2), after Bernd Leno.

The central midfielder had a pass accuracy lower than three of Arsenal’s current midfield options last season. Xhaka averaged just 85.3% pass completion rate, which was lower than Mohamed Elneny, Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira in the top-flight.

Given the size of the task on Saturday, it may be best to start Lucas Torreira and Guendouzi in the centre of midfield given their superior attributes both last and this campaign.

The little Uruguayan has been a wall in front of Arsenal’s defence since joining the club, winning the most tackles last year.

Meanwhile, Guendouzi has been brilliant on the ball this season, averaging the second highest pass completion rate of any player to have featured in both Premier League fixtures.

A mixture of the strengths of other options and Xhaka’s tendency to make mistakes means it will be a mistake to start him on Saturday against a Liverpool attack, who have scored 15 goals in their last four home games against Arsenal.

Would you start Xhaka? Join the discussion by commenting below… 

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