Arsenal vs Crystal Palace

Arsenal FC’s Title Bid Would Get A Boost From An Early England World Cup Exit

In the aftermath of Arsenal FC’s 5-0 demolition of Nottingham Forest manager Mikel Arteta played down fears Bukayo Saka’s early substitution put him in doubt for the 2022 World Cup.
“Hopefully not,” the Gunners coach replied when asked if his likely participation for England in the tournament was at threat, as reported by Forbes.

“It was a bad kick. Right from the beginning, he was limping, but I don’t see any further than that. Let’s see how he is in the next couple of days. He got kicked a few times and he wasn’t comfortable.”

Secretly, Arteta could be forgiven for hoping one of his most valuable players does miss out on the tournament or at least return to North London early.

The Gunners have been the revelation of the Premier League season, but, like everyone else in world soccer, will have to deal with the mid-season interruption of a major international competition.

Although the squad lists for the nations competing in Qatar are yet to be released, it is anticipated Arsenal will lose around 10 players.

But when you drill down into who will be departing for the Middle East and, more importantly, what role they will play it quickly becomes clear that, of the top sides, the impact on Arsenal will be considerably less than other clubs.

The two players who play the most significant roles for their nations are Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.

But it would be surprising if either of those nations are involved in the latter stages of the competition.

Most of the other Arsenal World Cup stars, like Aaron Ramsdale or William Saliba, either have bit-part or squad-based roles.

Due to the depth of talents at nations like Brazil important individuals, like Gabriel Martinelli, are expected to get a break for the tournament altogether.

The one major exception to this is Bukayo Saka. The young attacker lit up England’s Euro 2020 campaign playing a key role in getting the Three Lions to the final and, unfortunately, taking the kick that condemned the nation to defeat.

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