Team News: Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has to contain with a long injury list ahead of their FA Cup clash against Tottenham Hotspur.
Olivier Giroud And Mesut Ozil To Miss FA Cup Clash Agaisnt Tottenham (wiki)
Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur in a highly anticipated North London derby in the third round of the FA Cup at the Emirates tomorrow and the Gunners go into this game with a lot of injury concerns at the moment. Arsenal’s lack of depth upfront could be exposed once again as Olivier Giroud, who missed their last game against Cardiff City, could also miss out in this match against Spurs.
Arsene Wenger has revealed that the Frenchman, who has scored eight league goals in 18 appearances so far, is likely to be unavailable for selection due to illness.
“For the rest, Giroud’s ankle was quite positive yesterday in the test but he was sick overnight so he has a 90 per cent chance of being out. He is in bed today.” – The Arsenal manager said.
Nicklas Bendtner, who came on as a substitute in the second half and scored the opening goal of the game against Cardiff, has also picked up an ankle injury. The state of this injury is yet to be diagnosed and he could possibly be out for a long time as well.
“What I can tell you is that from the last game we lost Nicklas Bendtner. We don’t know how serious his injury is at the moment because he had a scan yesterday. His scan will be assessed today.“ – Wenger added.
Arsenal have also been without their star summer signing Mesut Ozil since the 3-1 win over West Ham and the German international will undergo a late fitness test ahead of this game and is unlikely to feature as well. The home side will also be without Aaron Ramsey and Kieran Gibbs who are suffering from thigh and calf injury respectively.
“Ozil will have a test later, personally I think he will be short. Gibbs and Ramsey are definitely out.” – Wenger said.
The good news of the Gunners is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who last appearance was in the opening day loss against Aston Villa, is close to recovering from his knee injury and is expected to return to full training next week.
“He is close to being back in full training, next week. It takes a little time to be competitive again.” – He said.
Abou Diaby and Yaya Sanogo are the other long term injury concerns at this point and this festive period has really stretched the Arsenal squad to its limit. Lukas Podolski will lead the line once again, while Tomas Rosicky returns to the starting line-up as well.
Expected starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Szczesny (GK); Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Arteta, Flamini; Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott; Podolski