Arsenal U23s hit by three defensive suspensions ahead of Liverpool clash

Arsenal U23s will be deprived of the services of three defenders due to suspension when they face Liverpool away on Saturday afternoon.

Freddie Ljungberg’s side, who have lost their last two league games and were knocked out of the Checkatrade Trophy this week, will be without Tolaji Bola, Jordi Osei-Tutu and Danny Ballard.

Bola is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards, while Osei-Tutu and Ballard are commencing three-match bans having been sent off in the defeat against Derby County.

It also seems unlikely that Laurent Koscielny, who has featured in the last two second-string matches, will be involved against Liverpool as he could be on the bench for the first-team against Huddersfield Town.

Meanwhile, Julio Pleguezuelo faces a battle to be fit having missed the last couple of matches through injury and Ben Sheaf is still out.

With his options at the back somewhat limited, Ljungberg may have to revert to playing a four-man defence, which could be comprised of Joseph Olowu, Zech Medley, Tobi Omole and Cohen Bramall.

If Ljungberg is insistent upon playing a back three then he could draft in U18 centre-backs Mark McGuinness and Bayli Spencer-Adams.

Dominic Thompson is an alternative choice at left-back, while Vontae Daley-Campbell, who has been the regular right-back for the U18s this season, could also be promoted if required.

With regards to attacking options, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah may be needed for the first-team, while midfielder Joe Willock could also train with the senior squad.

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