Arsenal are on the cusp of facing a full blown injury crisis ahead of the game with Chelsea with as many as 7 first team regulars potentially missing out with injuries.
Previous existing injuries include Aaron Ramsey who is certain to miss the match due to a hamstring injury that’s kept him out in recent games, Nacho Monreal who is also still nursing an ankle problem along with French International Oliver Giroud who has been ruled out for at least another two weeks due to a hamstring injury picked up in mid-December while Santi Cazorla is still out with his Achilles and 9 surgeries.
Speaking ahead of the game against Chelsea, Arsene Wenger provided an injury update on a number of key players like Mesut Ozil, Laurent Koscielny and Saed Kolasinac who all picked up knocks during the game or missed out due to illness as in the case of Ozil.
Giving Koscielny a 30 % chance of facing Chelsea, along with a slight chance for Ozil, Wenger has admitted to growing injury problems becoming a cause of massive concern during their present run of 4 games in 11 days.
Kolasinac pulled up during the closing stages of the first half with what looked like a groin problem and had to be replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles just before half time. With less than two days between the two games it always seemed an impossible task getting him to be fit for the Chelsea game and now the boss has confirmed his period of absence.
Wednesday night’s game against Chelsea is the first of a potential eight games in January for Arsenal, a schedule that will test Wenger’s squad to the limits.
However he believes that despite the growing injury list and the potential injury crisis, the squad at his disposal has the quality and numbers to cope with the festive fixtures and their presence in four competitions at the same time.
Speaking ahead of the game here is what he had to say about the Arsenal injury crisis:
“At the moment out injury list is quite long because we lost Kolasinac, we lost Koscielny and we had already Monreal, Giroud, Ramsey and Ozil out. “The two who have a little chance (for Chelsea) are Ozil. He might have a test this morning but he hasn’t been out at all since Crystal Palace. “And Koscielny, but yesterday the medical department were pessimistic on Koscielny. “Kolasinac is out completely for at least two weeks. Koscielny is 30 per cent available, 70 per cent not.”
Which means that Wenger is facing the possibility of being without SEVEN key players for a crucial game with Chelsea, which is obviously not ideal as we desperately need a win to boost our top four hopes. It will be quite interesting to see how Arsenal line up in order to deal with the injury crisis on their hands and salvage a win against the defending champions.
After a period of stuttering in the league due to our Manchester Effect and woeful away form, efficiency at home and against a top class team like Chelsea will be absolutely vital and how we deal with the challenge tomorrow will go a long way in determining our confidence and position in the league this year.