Arsenal’s Xhaka, Mkhitaryan missing in Moscow

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Granit Xhaka- left in London by Arsenal. He will not feature against CSKA Moscow

Arsenal stars Granit Xhaka and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are out of Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final clash against CSKA Moscow.

Xhaka, the Swedish international developed flu and did not travel to Russia with the rest of the Arsenal squad yesterday.

Xhaka was part of the team that beat CSKA 4-1 at home last week.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a former Manchester United player is still nursing a knee injury, sustained during the club’s English Premier league match against Southampton on Suday.

Arsenal are three goals ahead as they take on CSK Moscow tonight.

Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow coach Viktor Goncharenko is hopeful that Arsenal’s attacking philosophy could leave the Premier League side on the receiving end of a Europa League shock tonight.

While progression to the final four for Arsene Wenger’s side appears a formality, Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League at Roma on Tuesday while trying to defend the same advantage.

Experienced CSKA defender Aleksei Berezutski admits the Russians need their own ‘miracle’ to turn things around against Arsenal.

“Roma played a magnificent match and made a miracle,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of chances to repeat the same miracle, but sometimes miracles happen in football. Of course Arsenal are extremely motivated because winning the Europa League is the way into the Champions League, so this is their motivation.”

“Arsenal have a philosophy and have stuck to it for a long time, for many years, regardless of their record,” he said.

“If they are losing or winning they still play to make supporters and fans happy. When you act like this, trying to cheer up the supporters, you can have some problems in the defence.

“Tomorrow’s (today) strategy for Arsenal could be done in different ways, but they will be focusing on their attack of course.

“If we play without believing in yourself and without faith it is better not to play at all. We need to go to the pitch believing in ourselves and that we can make it into the next round. We need to change some things.”


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