Arsenal and Mikel Arteta given excellent updates as UEFA confirm Champions League decision.

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta given excellent updates as UEFA confirm Champions League decision.

Arsenal are anticipated to be disrupted in some form when the Africa Cup of Nations and AFC Asian Cup begin in a few weeks.

The absence of a Carabao Cup semi-final on the calendar, the resumption of the Premier League winter break, and UEFA’s confirmation of the dates for the Champions League round of 16 encounter with Porto can all help to lessen the impact.

While Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, and Mohamed Elneny are all currently injured, the trio is likely to be called up to represent their respective countries at one of the aforementioned tournaments if they are fit.

As a result, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is facing the possibility of being without three senior players. The length has yet to be established, but with Ghana, Japan, and Egypt all expected to advance far in their individual tournaments, a month seems likely.

To be specific, the 34th Africa Cup of Nations will be held in Ivory Coast from January 13 to February 11. The 2023 AFC Asian Cup kicks off in Qatar on Friday, January 12, with the final on Saturday, February 10.

During this time, the north London club has four Premier League encounters scheduled: 

Crystal Palace (h), Nottingham Forest (a), Liverpool (h), and West Ham United (a), therefore these are the games Partey, Tomiyasu, and Elneny will miss if their nation(s) advances to the final.

If Arsenal needs an FA Cup third-round replay against Liverpool, it will be an extra game, and the trio will be unavailable for a potential fourth-round fixture on the weekend of January 27th if they are still on international duty.

The good news is that regardless of how Japan, Ghana, or Egypt do in the AFC Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, Tomiyasu, Partey, and Elneny should be available for the Champions League round of 16 first-leg encounter with Porto.

The Gunners will travel to Portugal on Wednesday, February 21, as revealed by UEFA following the draw on Monday. This is 11 and 10 days after the finals of the AFC Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations, respectively, so there should be plenty of time for recovery if Arsenal has any representatives.

The alternative would have been for the Gunners to go to the Estadio do Dragao on February 13/14, just days after the aforementioned finals. 

Arsenal and Mikel Arteta given excellent updates as UEFA confirm Champions League decision.