Ahead of Arsenal’s New Year’s match against Manchester City, the Gunners are still within touching distance of Liverpool and Chelsea in second and third place respectively.
Given that the Reds and the Blues play against each other the following day, one or both could lose points, meaning the North Londoners could find themselves only two points from the top three if they were to continue their own good form and put Pep Guardiola’s. swashbucklers for the sword.
However, they have been hit by a hammer blow a few days before the match according to plan starts.
Back in March 2020, Mikel Arteta’s positive Covid-19 test was the one that finally, and some might say too late, so the Premier League stopped all football so far.
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It turned out that the Spaniard recovered well, but unfortunately the Omicron variant of coronavirus has seen Arteta return another positive test.
According to Arsenal’s official website, the manager is now in isolation and has received the club’s wishes.
What this obviously means is that he will not be able to direct operations from dugout during Saturday’s meeting, and that could tip the balance even further in City’s direction.
It also stops the possibility that Arteta is once again putting her mind up against her former colleague, Pep Guardiola.
The Catalan will be looking for his team to continue their epic victory race, which will see them move 12 points from the rest if they are able to emerge unscathed in both the Arsenal and Brentford matches.