Arsenal receive AFCON boost but Liverpool not so lucky thanks to Ghana and Senegal results

Liverpool and Arsenal are missing players due to AFCON but the Gunners will welcome Thomas Partey back early whilst Mo Salah and Sadio Mane remain on international duty

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Jurgen Klopp on missing Sadio Mane and Mo Salah

Thomas Partey is set to return to Arsenal in double quick time after Ghana were knocked out of AFCON in the group stages.

The Gunners’ midfielder, who has become an increasingly influential figure this term, was among a host of Premier League stars who headed south to represent their countries.

But some are going will be away for longer than others depending on how far their nations advance.

Ghana lost two and drew one of their group games, finishing bottom.

Their players will now head back to their clubs which means Mikel Arteta will soon have Partey available for selection.

The former Atletico Madrid man has not yet missed a Premier League game, but will surely be unavailable for the Carabao Cup game against Liverpool on Thursday.

The Reds have also seen a host of their players leave for AFCON.

Have Your Say! Who will win the Carabao Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Arsenal? Tell us your prediction here.

Ghana’s early exit means Thomas Partey will return to Arsenal

Leading lights Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are all in action and all set to remain as their countries progress.

Mane’s Senegal and Keita’ Guinea were paired in the same group.

The former got the better of the duel and Senegal have topped the standings.

Guinea lost their final group game to Zimbabwe 2-1, although Keita did score a memorable goal.

Despite the reverse they have advanced with four points from a possible nine.

Salah and Egypt lost their opening group game against Nigeria before bouncing back with a win over Guinea-Bissau.

They could still miss out on the knockout stages but are heavy favourites to advance.

Liverpool and Arsenal are both aiming for a spot in the Carabao Cup final following their 0-0 draw at Anfield last week.

It means the winner at the Emirates will advance to Wembley where Chelsea lie in wait, with eyes on the first piece of silverware this season.

The absence of Salah and Mane was telling last week as Liverpool failed to break down 10-man Arsenal on Merseyside.

Mo Salah and several of his Liverpool teammates will remain away on AFCON duty

Despite that Jurgen Klopp has challenged his side to step up whilst their prolific pair are absent.

He said: “We won at Manchester United and Sadio didn’t start. Now both are out and that’s not cool but it’s not like: ‘You have to be like him.’

“We have to find solutions, which we always do, not constantly talk about problems. It is about playing football. It doesn’t depend on who is playing, it is always about how you are playing.

“Everybody can step up. Everybody is absolutely invited to score a goal. We have to go through this period and make the best of it.”

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