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Jan 18, 2020 at 3pm UK at Emirates Stadium
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Mikel Arteta: 'Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang absence is a chance for others'

The forward's appeal against a three-match ban has failed.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta has called on his players to "step up" and fill the goalscoring void left by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's absence after a call for the Football Association to review his three-match ban failed.

The Gunners were hopeful to have Aubameyang available sooner than the Premier League trip to Burnley at the start of February after he was dismissed in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace.

Aubameyang had opened the scoring at Selhurst Park but saw a yellow card for a dangerous challenge on Max Meyer upgraded to a red by the video assistant referee.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal – Premier League – Selhurst Park
Referee Paul Tierney shows Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, left, a red card against Crystal Palace (Tess Derry/PA)

Arsenal pleaded for mitigation on the resulting three-match ban but the initial suspension stands – meaning the Gabon international will miss Saturday's visit of Sheffield United, a London derby at Chelsea and then the FA Cup fourth-round clash at Bournemouth.

The sheer reliance on Aubameyang's goals are borne out in the statistics, with the former Borussia Dortmund man hitting 14 of Arsenal's 29 Premier League goals this season and all-but three of their goals away from the Emirates Stadium.

"Players have to step up," Arteta replied when asked if the team will be worse without their suspended captain.

"You know, when one of your big players is not there, they have to take responsibility. I'm sure when they're not playing, they want a chance and they talk.

"It's time to talk on the pitch, not outside. You come on there, you make the impact that he made and you sure me that you are as good as him or even better. You have the chance.

"It's a big shame and a big loss for us, because as well we know Auba's intention when he plays. But unfortunately he mistimed the tackle, he made a decision and we have to accept it.

"Auba has been around, he was very sad after the game. He was disappointed that he left the team with 10 men. It's an action that is completely accidental in my opinion.

Crystal Palace v Arsenal – Premier League – Selhurst Park
Aubameyang has been Arsenal's main source of Premier League goals so far this season (Tess Derry/PA)

"He's been superb under me, he's trained really well, he's working so hard. He's scoring goals and has probably been the most important player on the team. So to lose him, obviously, is really bad news for us."

While Aubameyang's influence will no doubt be a miss for Arsenal at the top-end of the field, Arteta has also been hit by an injury to defender Sead Kolasinac.

The left-back will miss the Sheffield United game due to a thigh injury, with Kieran Tierney already a long-term absentee with a dislocated shoulder.

It means Bukayo Saka, nominally a winger, is likely to be deployed there at the weekend, with Arteta's options in the centre of his defence also limited.

Manchester City Training – City Football Academy
Manchester City's John Stones, second left and his former coach Arteta, second right, worked together for years (Peter Byrne/PA)

The club have been linked with a move for Manchester City's John Stones but, despite being a fan of a player he worked alongside at the Etihad Stadium for some time, Arteta insisted there is no bid for Stones.

Asked about a potential move for the England international, Arteta said: "No, no truth at all.

"John is a player that I really like and I followed. We signed him when I was at Manchester City and I worked with him for many years and know him well.

"When I look at centre backs he has many attributes that I like from one, but we're not interested."

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ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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