Arsenal have confirmed Calum Chambers has tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of their Carabao Cup quarter-final against Sunderland.
The Gunners now have Chambers, Albert Sambi Lokonga and Pablo Mari currently sidelined with the virus, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles misses the clash through illness – but it is not Covid, according to the club.
Arsenal have selected a much-changed side from the XI that beat Leeds United at the weekend, with Mikel Arteta resting some of his key players, including Bukayo Saka, Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli.
Here is the XI Arteta selected to face Sunderland this evening: Bernd Leno, Cedric Soares, Ben White, Rob Holding, Nuno Tavares, Mohamed Elneny, Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe, Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun.
Youngster Charlie Patino has been named on the bench, with plenty of Arsenal supporters desperate to see him in action at some point this evening against the Black Cats.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, that has seen a host of recent fixtures postponed due to rising positive cases at Premier League football clubs, the 20 teams in the top-flight held a meeting on Monday afternoon.
On the agenda in the meeting was whether there should be a circuit breaker ahead of the festive round of fixtures, but the Premier League clubs decided against that.
The EFL confirmed its schedule of games would remain the same “where it is safe to do so”, with the Carabao Cup fixtures going ahead this week.
EFL chief executive Trevor Birch said: “Throughout the pandemic, our two priorities have been ensuring the welfare of those involved in EFL competitions and ensuring the fixture schedule can continue where it is safe to do so.
“We will continue to work with clubs, authorities and other agencies to monitor the Covid-19 case rate and be prepared to respond accordingly, yet for now the view remains that we can continue to deliver games safely where clubs have sufficient healthy personnel in place, on and off the pitch.
“With club mitigation measures, the mass adoption of booster jabs and Covid certification now required for larger crowds, we are sure many fans will continue to feel confident in attending matches over the Christmas period and we look forward to welcoming them.”