Liverpool arrive at the Emirates with the aim of maintaining or extending their five-point lead over the Gunners at the top of the standings, which they have built up in spite of their significant summer midfield rebuild.
Former RB Leipzig man Szoboszlai has been a cornerstone of Klopp’s new-look engine room during his debut campaign in England, coming up with five goals and four assists from his first 28 games in a Liverpool jersey.
Szoboszlai recently sat out four Liverpool games due to a hamstring problem sustained on New Year’s Day against Newcastle United, but he has come back with a bang, providing an assist in a 5-2 FA Cup crushing of Norwich City before finding the net in a 4-1 Premier League beating of Chelsea.
The Hungary international came off the bench in the former clash before lasting 69 minutes of the victory over the Blues, and there was no mention of a physical glitch for the midfielder after the midweek mauling.
As a result, Szoboszlai was widely expected to reprise his role in the engine room for Liverpool’s showdown with Arsenal, and the Reds arrived in North London on Saturday evening ahead of the pivotal encounter.
However, the Anfield Talk claims that Szoboszlai was not seen with the rest of the squad for unexplained reasons and therefore seems set to miss the Emirates battle in another bitter injury blow for Klopp.
The German is already guaranteed to be without Mohamed Salah, Ben Doak, Joel Matip, Stefan Bajcetic and Kostas Tsimikas for the showdown with Mikel Arteta’s side, while it is unclear if Wataru Endo will be available after Japan were knocked out of the Asian Cup by Iran on Saturday.
The meeting with Arsenal will likely come too soon for Endo to make his domestic comeback, but Alexis Mac Allister is expected to be fine to feature after taking a blow to the knee in the dying embers of the loss to Chelsea.
Mac Allister, Szoboszlai and Curtis Jones formed the midfield triumvirate when Chelsea visited Anfield on Thursday evening, and the Hungarian’s possible absence should open the door for either Harvey Elliott or Ryan Gravenberch to enter the fray.
On a brighter note, Thiago Alcantara and Darwin Nunez have apparently made the journey to face Arsenal, although the former should not be thrown back into the first XI after nine months out with a hip injury.
Meanwhile, Nunez played the majority of the Chelsea match with a swollen foot after being stamped on, leading Klopp to admit that he was a doubt in his pre-game press conference, but Cody Gakpo is a like-for-like swap should the Uruguayan not be risked.
Liverpool’s drubbing of Chelsea saw up-and-coming right-back Conor Bradley shine with a goal and two assists at Anfield, but the 20-year-old’s participation is also up in the air due to the death of his father.
As for Arsenal, Arteta has confirmed that midfielder Thomas Partey will not be involved after suffering a setback in his recovery from thigh surgery, while Fabio Vieira (groin) and Jurrien Timber (ACL) are absent too.
Endo’s international teammate Takehiro Tomiyasu should not make the cut either, but Mohamed Elneny might be involved after Egypt’s exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.