Arsenal team news: Duo to have late tests as Wenger faces injury crisis vs Chelsea

By on January 9, 2018

granit xhaka arsenal

Arsenal are facing a mounting injury crisis ahead of our Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea with up to 8 players set to miss the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Arsene Wenger provided the latest team news details at his press conference this morning and unfortunately he confirmed that none of our injured players are expected to return.

Aaron Ramsey had hoped to be in contention after missing our last eight games with a hamstring injury but it looks like the Welshman will once again miss out tomorrow night.

Olivier Giroud is also still nursing a hamstring injury that’s hampered him in recent weeks while Nacho Monreal will miss out with an ankle injury that’s kept him out of the last three games.

Laurent Koscielny aggravated his Achilles injury at West Brom 10 days ago and sadly he hasn’t recovered in time while Sead Kolasinac is also still out with an ankle injury.

Obviously Santi Cazorla is still unavailable but our injury woes could get even worse as the boss has confirmed that Granit Xhaka and Shkodran Mustafi are also doubts for the Chelsea game.

Xhaka finished the league draw against Chelsea last week with a groin problem while Mustafi is carrying an unspecified knock so both players will have late fitness tests at training.

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.

If Xhaka and Mustafi are ruled out then we’ll be without EIGHT first team players for the semi-final tomorrow and we’ll be facing a real crisis at centre-back and central midfield.

Even if Mustafi is passed fit we’ll still need to deploy Calum Chambers and Rob Holding if Wenger sticks with a back three and that trio were ripped apart by the Blues at the Emirates last week so I fear for our defence tomorrow.

Injuries have hit the squad at just the wrong time and as the fringe players showed on Sunday, we simply don’t have the required depth to cope with so many players on the sidelines.