Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka is set to be hit with a four-game ban after being sent off in the 2-1 win over Burnley on Sunday.
The 24-year-old saw red for a two-footed lunge on Steven Defour that left referee Jon Moss reaching straight for the red card.
The dismissal is Xhaka’s second red of the season and means he will now be handed an extra game ban on top of the three-match ban for a straight red card.
The Switzerland international will therefore be ruled out of Arsenal’s FA Cup clash against Southampton, the trip to Chelsea and the Premier League games against Hull City and Southampton.
Arsenal can, of course, appeal the decision although it is yet to be seen if they will and Arsene Wenger was fairly critical of the midfielder after the game.
Xhaka’s imminent suspension is also poorly timed with the club struggling for midfield options currently.
- Wenger Gives His Thoughts On Maitland-Niles’ Performance In Midfield
- Arsenal Target Claims “There Is A Promise” For Him To Leave Club In Summer
- [Match Highlights] Östersunds FK 0-3 Arsenal – All The Goals And Best Bits
Santi Cazorla is out indefinitely through injury while Mohamed Elneny is away with Egypt at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Fortunately Francis Coquelin is fit again after a recent lay-off with Aaron Ramsey the club’s other option.
Xhaka’s red card will also provide further frustration for Arsenal with the midfielder seeming to struggle with that side of the game – he has now been sent off nine times in three years.
While there has been some debate over whether he deserved to be sent off, the fact he seemed to have both feet off the ground, with studs showing, left the referee with very little choice and is something he must learn from.