Arsenal Could Be Without 8 Players vs Chelsea As Wenger Reveals 2 Fresh Doubts
Arsene Wenger reveals two fresh injury doubts as Arsenal face being without 8 regulars for the trip to Chelsea tomorrow night.
Arsenal will be looking to take a positive result back to the Emirates when they take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tomorrow night.
Ahead of the game, Arsene Wenger spoke to reporters at his pre-match press conference this morning and he provided the latest team news and injury updates.
Unfortunately the Arsenal boss is set to be without a number of first team regulars as Wenger confirmed that none of his current injured players are close to returning to action.
Laurent Koscielny aggravated his long-term Achilles injury during the draw at West Brom recently and Nacho Monreal is also on the sidelines with an ankle problem that’s already kept him out for the last four games.
Sead Kolasinac is still nursing an ankle injury of his own while Olivier Giroud will once again miss out due to a hamstring problem that he picked up last month.
There were hopes that Aaron Ramsey could be available against Chelsea but the Welsh international is still recovering from a hamstring injury so he remains on the sidelines along with long-term absentee Santi Cazorla.
However, the Arsenal injury list could lengthen further as Wenger has revealed that Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi are also doubts for the Chelsea game and are facing late fitness tests.
Xhaka was ruled out of the FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest with a groin problem while Mustafi has seemingly picked up an unspecified knock and both players will be assessed at London Colney today.
Wenger told Arsenal.com:
on the main team news…
We don’t recover anybody unfortunately. I believe that on Sunday we paid the price for having many injured players. Some needed to be rested but we also had five or six players injured. That’s a bit detrimental to the rotation as well.
on whether anyone is close to coming back…
For Wednesday, no. For Sunday [against Bournemouth], I don’t think anybody will come back.
on Granit Xhaka…
He has a test today. We’ll see how he comes through that.
on Shkodran Mustafi…
Mustafi will also have a test today. I don’t know exactly how available they will be. I will know more after training.
Wenger will be sweating on the results of the fitness tests as it would mean the north Londoners would be without eight first team regulars if Xhaka and Mustafi were also ruled out.
With Koscielny and Monreal on the sidelines, Arsenal’s options at the back would be extremely limited without Mustafi and Wenger may be forced to go with the same back three that shipped four at Forest on Sunday.
Midfield would also be a concern for the Gunners if Xhaka is out as Mohamed Elneny or Francis Coquelin would have to come in alongside Jack Wilshere tomorrow night.
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