Two Arsenal stars close to joining Kai Havertz as suspension risks ahead of Liverpool trip

Arsenal travel to Liverpool this weekend to take on the Reds in what is set to be one of the most important matches of the season for the Gunners. Mikel Arteta knows that a win would see them confirmed as league leaders at Christmas with Jurgen Klopp knowing the same outcome for his team secures them a place at the top of the tree.

Arsenal have managed to avoid any unnecessary suspensions or injuries going into the game. However the same cannot be said for Liverpool who are expected to be without Alexis Mac Allister who was injured in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United.
From the Arsenal side, Thomas Partey is close to a return, with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Fabio Vieira not expected back until the new year. Jurrien Timber is a long-term absentee but Emile Smith Rowe has been in the last couple of matchday squads, coming on as a substitute against PSV and Brighton.
Although injuries and suspensions may not be on Arsenal’s minds ahead of the game it could be a conscious thought during the clash. Last season’s battle between the two on Merseyside was quite the sight as Granit Xhaka and Trent Alexander-Arnold clashed earning them an earful from the referee.
Kai Havertz falls into the category of Arsenal players still on four yellow cards in the Premier League. The German has been in excellent form scoring against Brentford, Sevilla, Luton Town and Brighton.

If he is to get booked at Anfield he will miss the home match on December 28 against West Ham United, after which the yellow card suspension rule increases to ten – reaching this would incur a two-game ban. There are two other players close to the threshold.

If Ben White and Gabriel Jesus are to be booked against both Liverpool and West Ham, this would take them to the five-card threshold and they would both miss the New Year’s Eve clash at Fulham. All key starters, Arteta cannot afford to lose any of these players – especially with the aforementioned injuries the side are facing.

Arteta has already served a suspension for racking up three yellow cards and against Brighton he earned his fourth of the league season. This means he is halfway to the eight-card threshold which would incur a two-game pitch-side suspension.
Should he reach an incredible 16 bookings, Arteta would face an FA misconduct hearing. The Spaniard was not proven to have been guilty of a recent charge for his comments following the game with Newcastle United earlier this season and will try to stay in the good graces of officials although Anfield brings back memories of a touchline bust-up with Jurgen Klopp.

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