Team news: 4 Arsenal players doubtful for Fulham as Emery’s injury crisis deepens

By on December 31, 2018

mesut ozil arsenal 2018

Arsenal are sweating over the fitness of a number of players ahead of tomorrow’s Premier League clash with Fulham as Unai Emery’s injury crisis continues to bite.

The boss has been working with a threadbare squad in recent weeks and our options in attack were limited further after Mesut Ozil was ruled out of the 5-1 loss at Liverpool on Saturday evening with an apparent knee injury.

Ozil supposedly felt pain in his knee after Friday’s training session and there was no sign of him at London Colney today. The playmaker will be assessed but it looks like that he’ll be ruled out of the visit of Fulham on New Year’s Day.

Shkodran Mustafi was rushed back for the Liverpool game after missing the previous five matches with a hamstring injury but the centre-back aggravated the problem at Anfield and was forced off at half-time so is now a doubt to take on the Cottagers.

Hector Bellerin has also been missing recently due to a calf problem and he returned to training today. The club say they will assess the right-back but it seems unlikely he’ll be passed fit to start just yet.

Nacho Monreal has been nursing a niggling hamstring injury over the past two months and he will also be given a late fitness test after resuming training at London Colney this afternoon.

It remains to be seen whether any of the four injury doubts will be available tomorrow but Emery will certainly have to continue without Henrikh Mkhitaryan as he’s still nursing a fractured foot while Dinos Mavropanos is still working his way back from a long-term groin problem.

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Emile Smith Rowe returned to light training today but he’s still unavailable so remains on the sidelines along with long-term absentees Rob Holding and Danny Welbeck meaning Emery could be without as many as NINE players tomorrow.

A full team news update on Arsenal.com read today:

Mesut Ozil
Left knee. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

Shkodran Mustafi
Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

Nacho Monreal
Right hamstring. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

Hector Bellerin
Left calf. Being assessed ahead of Fulham (h) on Tuesday, January 1.

Dinos Mavropanos
Groin injury. Being integrated back into full training.

Emile Smith Rowe
Right hip. Expected to return to full training in two weeks.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Right foot. Fractured metatarsal. Expected to return to full training in February.

Rob Holding
Left knee. Recovering after surgery.

Danny Welbeck
Right ankle. Recovering after surgery.

It’s no coincidence that the mounting injury list has coincided with our dip in form and we just don’t have the squad to cope with so many injuries – especially during the busy festive/New Year period when the games come thick and fast.

Hopefully the likes of Ozil, Monreal, Bellerin and Mustafi are available soon but I think it’s obvious we need reinforcements in January if we’re to maintain hopes of finishing in the top four this season.