In the 27th minute of the Gunners’ 5-0 victory against Nottingham Forest, Bukayo Saka was pulled out due to injury, and Mikel Arteta might have to make adjustments if he is unable to play against Chelsea.


Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka was forced to leave the game against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League because of an injury at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka was forced to leave the game against Nottingham Forest in the Premier League because of an injury at the Emirates Stadium.

Due to Bukayo Saka’s recent injury sustained during Arsenal’s 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest, Mikel Arteta will have a difficult time selecting the lineup for next week’s trip to Chelsea.

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Saka has participated in every game for the Gunners this season in every competition, scoring five goals and dishing out four assists. He joined Arteta’s team again on Sunday against Forest after sitting on the bench for the midweek Europa League loss to PSV, although he might not be available come November.

The Arsenal attacker was involved in a couple of harmless challenges early on against Forest, and club trainer Simon Murphy treated him twice before Reiss Nelson took his place after 27 minutes.

In his post-game press conference, Arteta downplayed the seriousness of the injury amid worries that he would miss the World Cup in a month.

Due to Saka’s absence, Arteta might have to look deeper into his roster in November as Arsenal still has four games left before ending their 2022–23 season. Reiss Nelson, the Sunday match’s Man of the Match, is one player who might gain from the alternate team pick.

Against Steve Cooper’s team, Arteta gave the winger his first Premier League start, and the player repaid his manager’s faith with two goals in three second-half minutes. The Hale End academy graduate, who missed the season’s beginning due to injury, is now in the final year of his contract with north London.

Nelson is well-positioned to replace Saka for a like-for-like substitution in advance of the crucial matchup against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge the following weekend on the strength of his strong performance against Forest.

However, Arteta does have a different option if he so chooses. Eddie Nketiah started in attack alongside Gabriel Jesus a few weeks ago during the 1-0 victory over PSV. Nketiah would have the opportunity to start in the No. 9 position because of Jesus’ natural aptitude to play out on the right.

The 4-2 victory over Chelsea in west London last year, in which Nketiah started and scored twice, can give Arteta confidence despite the fact that they would be playing a different Chelsea team under Graham Potter.

Nketiah and Arsenal were both on fire in April, but so far this season, the striker has found it difficult to contribute when needed.

Arteta will have a chance to test out his game plan for the weekend because the Gunners play FC Zurich on Thursday before traveling to Stamford Bridge. Despite PSV’s victory on Thursday, the Gunners have already qualified for the competition’s knockout rounds. However, they have not yet officially crowned themselves group winners.