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Mikel Arteta’s reason for leaving Martin Odegaard out of Arsenal squad for Slavia Prague

Mikel Arteta has left Martin Odegaard out of his Arsenal squad to take on Slavia Prague as a precaution.

The Norway captain, who is on loan at Arsenal from Real Madrid, is struggling with an ankle problem sustained during the international break.

Odegaard played the full 90 minutes of Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat by Liverpool.

But the forward failed a late fitness test ahead of the Europa League clash and will play no part in the first leg of the quarter-final at the Emirates this Thursday.

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Arsenal youngster Emile Smith Rowe will fill in for the Norwegian and play the number 10 role.

Mikel Arteta has left Martin Odegaard out as a precaution
Mikel Arteta has left Martin Odegaard out as a precaution

And he’ll lead the Gunners’ front line alongside Willian, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette.

Arteta is also without Kieran Tierney who faces being out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.

The left-back was forced off against Liverpool after suffering ligament damage.

In a statement, Arsenal confirmed: “Kieran sustained ligament damage to his left knee during Saturday’s match against Liverpool.

“Surgery will not be required and it’s hoped that Kieran will be back in full training within four to six weeks.”

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