Arsenal have confirmed that defender Gabriel Magalhaes will miss the club’s next three matches as Mikel Arteta rung the changes for clash against Chelsea on Saturday.
The Gunners welcome Frank Lampard’s side to the Emirates Stadium on Boxing Day evening.
But they will be without Brazilian centre-back Gabriel as he is isolating after coming into close contact with somebody has tested positive for coronavirus.
That means that Gabriel will miss the game against Brighton on Tuesday and the trip to West Brom on Saturday 2 January.
David Luiz and Willian were also ruled out due to illness, but the pair have returned a negative Covid test.
Arsenal stated that they be monitoring and supporting all three, before reassessing their situation.
With the Gunners sitting down in 15th place in the Premier League before the game against Chelsea, Arteta admitted that it was crunch time with three matches coming up in a week.
“The next seven to eight days are going to be crucial to see where we’re going to be heading to in the Premier League,” he said.
“The best medicine when you are in this situation is to win a football match. Every defeat is another hurting moment, another moment of disappointment, another moment you have to lift yourself up and that’s what we’ve got to do.
“I think the medicine for all of us would be to come here against Chelsea, beat them and then move from there. It’s exactly what we all need.
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“We have to draw a line. A lot of things happened [against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup]. Again, we have to focus on the Premier League, because it’s a priority in the situation we’re in.
“We have a crucial week this week. We have to stand up and we have to pick up the points. Let’s draw a line and move forward.”
Arsenal XI to face Chelsea: Leno, Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Xhaka, Elneny, Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, Lacazette.