Arsenal Team News: Cruel Injury Blow, 4 Could Miss Huddersfield But Defender Returns

By on December 7, 2018

Arsenal-Mesut-Ozil-2018

Arsenal will be desperate to extend their unbeaten run when we welcome Huddersfield Town to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here is the latest team news ahead of the game….

Unai Emery held his pre-match press conference late on Thursday afternoon and he confirmed Rob Holding looks to have suffered a serious knee injury during our 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The centre-back was stretchered off with his leg in a brace following a collision with Marcus Rashford midway through the first half and while Emery was reluctant to give any specific details, the Arsenal boss admitted the ‘first news in not good’.

It was a costly night at Old Trafford as Aaron Ramsey was also forced off at half-time after twisting his ankle during the closing stages of the first half. Emery says the midfielders injury isn’t serious but he’s a major doubt for the visit of Huddersfield tomorrow.

Mesut Ozil is also struggling to prove his fitness as he’s been training away from the main group this week as he continues to nurse an apparent back problem that’s kept him out of the last three matches. The playmaker will be assessed at training today before a decision is made over his availability but if he and Ramsey are ruled out, then with Danny Welbeck and Holding already missing, then Emery will be without four players this weekend.

However, there was some more positive news on Laurent Koscielny as the boss confirmed that he could return to the squad this weekend and be named among the substitutes after stepping-up his recovery over the past two weeks.

Koscielny has been out since May with an Achilles injury but he’s turned out twice for the youth teams recently and could be on the bench against Huddersfield with a view to starting against Qarabag in the Europa League next week.

Emery told Arsenal.com on Thursday:

on Rob Holding…
We are waiting. The club can give us communication about this. The best news for me is [being] calm, but the doctors are looking at him and they are going to communicate with us.

on if he fears a long-term injury…
At the moment, the first news is not good.

on Ramsey’s injury…
It’s a different injury. It’s smaller than Rob’s. Today it’s very early because this morning we have been working, but with the players who didn’t play yesterday. Tomorrow we’ll train before the game on Saturday and that’s the moment you can know if the players will be OK or not for Saturday.

on Koscielny and his expected return date…
We are on a gradual way with him. He’s played two matches with the under-23s. He played 85 minutes on Tuesday and our plan is that he can maybe be with us in the 18 on Saturday. Maybe he can play against Qarabag in the Europa League. He’s working with us with very big performances every day in training. He’s playing for the under-23s with a good feeling. The next step is for him to be with us.

on what it means having Koscielny back…
Experience, quality, personality. We need every player and we need also for him to train with us. The next step is playing. He can play with us and be with us normally.

on Ozil and his expected return date…
He had backache and now he’s working with the physio. We are going to look at when he can come back with us.

on if Ozil could be involved on Saturday…
This morning he worked with the physiotherapist on the pitch, running and touching the ball. Tomorrow [Friday] will be the decision.

Following Emery’s press conference, some media outlets such as the Sun and the Mirror reported that Holding has suffered a crucial knee ligament injury and is expected to be ruled out for the rest of the season.

There has been no official word from Arsenal [at the time of writing] but it will be a cruel blow to the player and club if these reports prove accurate as Holding has improved dramatically under Emery this season having established himself in the first team.

With Holding now out for the foreseeable future, Emery needs to reshape his back three and Nacho Monreal could be in-line for a recall against Huddersfield after returning to full training this week following a hamstring injury.

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