Arsenal Team News: Wenger Confirms Double Blow But Key Duo Set To Face Chelsea
Arsene Wenger has confirmed a double injury blow ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup with Chelsea but two other key men should be available.
Arsenal will look to end a frustrating season on a high note when they take on Chelsea in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger held his pre-match press conference this morning and the Gunners boss offered reporters a team news and injury update.
Unfortunately for Arsenal they will be without Gabriel this weekend as Wenger has confirmed the centre-back is facing between six and eight weeks on the sidelines after suffering a knee ligament injury.
Gabriel was stretched off during Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Everton on Sunday and while he’s avoided the need to undergo surgery, the Brazilian is still ruled out for several weeks with a medial ligament problem.
There is also a concern over the fitness of Shkodran Mustafi as the defender is yet to return to training having missed the Everton game with suspected concussion.
Mustafi fell ill after taking a kick to the head against Sunderland last week and the centre-back is now facing a race against time to get himself fit to face Chelsea.
However, there was more positive news on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the midfielder is back in contention after recovering from a hamstring injury that’s kept him out in recent games.
Arsenal should also be able to call upon key man Alexis Sanchez as Wenger says the attacker is ‘OK’ after limping off against Everton with a tight hamstring.
The Chilean international will undergo some fitness tests before his availability on Saturday is determined but Wenger appears confident Sanchez will be available for selection.
The Arsenal boss is quoted as saying by the Metro:
‘Gabriel is out for 6-8 weeks. We had a scare about his cruciate but it’s medial. He avoids surgery,’
‘Alexis Sanchez is OK, Oxlade-Chamberlain is in contention for final. Mustafi is still sick and hasn’t trained yet.
‘He (Sanchez) needs to go through some tests at the moment. We’ll see how well he comes out of that.
‘Knowing the player, knowing his commitment to the club, he’ll do everything to be fit for Saturday.’
Arsenal will be praying Mustafi can get himself fit over the coming days as with Laurent Koscielny suspended and Gabriel injured, the north Londoners are short of options as centre-back.
If the German star is passed fit, then he’s expected to line-up alongside Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal in the back three. Per Mertesacker is on stand-by to fill-in if Mustafi is ruled out.