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Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard withdraws from Norway squad due to injury

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard withdraws from Norway squad due to injury

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard will be absent from the Norway squad for their upcoming fixtures against the Faroe Islands and Scotland this week, Standard Sport reports.

The 24-year-old has been forced to withdraw from Stale Solbakken’s squad amid struggles with recurring injury problems sustained earlier this month.

Odegaard has been sidelined for the Gunners’ last three matches after picking up the knock in training just before the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United that ended their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

The Arsenal skipper had been grappling with a hip issue before the Newcastle game, causing him to miss the emphatic 5-0 victory over Sheffield United last month.

After recovering from the hip problem, he was handed a ten-minute cameo in the 3-1 defeat to West Ham United in the League Cup fourth round.

Although Odegaard received a call-up to represent Norway in their November fixtures, the midfield maestro will remain at Arsenal to continue his recovery instead of joining the national team. 

Norway’s hopes of securing qualification for the 2024 European Championship in Germany were dashed after a 1-0 defeat to Spain in the last international break.

The situation has rendered Sunday’s fixture against joint Group A leaders Scotland inconsequential, while the friendly against the Faroe Islands on Thursday holds little significance.

While Odegaard will remain at Arsenal to continue his recovery, his teammate Jorginho has travelled to Italy for their crucial qualifier fixtures against North Macedonia and Ukraine.

The former Chelsea man, who suffered a blow to the head in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over relegation-threatened Burnley, will undergo an assessment by the Italian FA to determine his availability for Friday’s fixture.

Sitting third in Group C, three points adrift of second-placed Ukraine and six behind leaders England, Italy’s remaining two games are must-wins to bolster their hopes of securing a Euro 2024 slot.

Despite their precarious qualification situation, the upcoming match against North Macedonia is expected to be a straightforward win, with Ukraine presenting a more formidable test of character for the Italians.

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