Arsenal could potentially be without six key players ahead of their blockbuster clash against Manchester United, according to reports.
The Gunners are on an incredible unbeaten streak at the moment, having not lost a game in their last 19 matches. They are more than just involved in the title race at the moment and could actually be serious contenders to win the Premier League.
Manchester United on the other hand, are having a torrid season so far. A few highlights, such as the win against Juventus, have been overshadowed by woeful performances against lower opposition such as Bournemouth, Brighton, West Ham and Crystal Palace. They currently lie 7th in the table and already face an uphill battle to secure a qualification spot for the Champions League next season.
A game against Arsenal, who are in magnificent form under Unai Emery this season, is probably the last thing they would’ve wanted. However, they might just have been given a massive boost ahead of the clash.
In Unai Emery’s press conference ahead of the titanic clash at Old Trafford, the Spaniard appeared doubtful as to whether star midfielder Mesut Ozil would be fit in time for game. The German play-maker sat out the sensational 4-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the North London derby, citing a niggling back injury. Speaking to the media, he admitted to being unsure if the midfielder would be available for the clash.
“I don’t know if he’s okay for Wednesday,” Emery said.
“He’s had a backache since last Tuesday. He couldn’t play in Kiev or Sunday. At the moment, I don’t know if he can play in Manchester.”
Ozil’s absence means Arsenal will travel to the Theatre of Dreams without six key players. Granit Xhaka has been an engine in the Gunners’ midfield, but will miss the game on Wednesday due to suspension having picked up his fifth yellow card this season against Spurs.
Joining Ozil on the injury list is Nacho Monreal, who has been out of the side for quite a while nursing a hamstring injury. Dinos Mavropanos has also been out for a while with a groin strain. Danny Welbeck suffered a gruesome ankle break in the Europa League and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Laurent Koscielny is making positive progress 6 months on from the Achilles injury that kept him out of the World Cup and ultimately denied him a winners medal. The Frenchman played 45 minutes for Arsenal’s U-23’s last Monday, but it would be foolish to throw him straight back into the thick of things after such a serious injury.
The injury pile up means Arsenal will face United with a severely depleted squad. However, their opponents aren’t exactly short of injury problems themselves. United are set to be without Victor Lindelof once more, while the fitness of Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcus Rashford remains unknown. The game could prove to be as tight as expected after all.