On the eve of the much-awaited North-London derby, Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has a string of injury problems in his squad, and the Frenchman is understandably worried about his players’ fitness. It could hamper the Gunners’ title hopes this season, with Champions League glory already looking out of sight.
Arsenal’s injury crisis has improved since last week, but remains an issue of concern for the Gunners after only two out of nine injured players have recovered and are ready for selection.
Joel Campbell was clearly fatigued within the first quarter of an hour against Bayern Munich, but the Costa Rican greenhorn is expected to start a fourth game in a row, given that Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Thomas Rosicky are still sidelined.
Wenger concerned with injury issues
With a bunch of first team players out of the squad, Wenger admits he is nervous about releasing some of his players for international duty after the Tottenham game, particularly Koscielny.
a I am very concerned, honestly, because we are only in November and to have so many players out, knowing we go into the Christmas period soon a I am concerned,a Wenger said, as reported by the Guardian. a At the moment, we have too many players out,a
a If he does not play on Sunday, I will not let him travel [with France],a Wenger said. a I have the same problem with Ospina, who might be available for Sunday. If I put him on the bench, he will go to Colombia.a
Injury crisis must improve
Mikel Arteta will undergo a late fitness test, while Hector Bellerin is unlikely to recover from the groin injury he picked up against Swansea City FC.
But Wenger will hope to have Koscielny back in the starting lineup, and has put his chances up to 80%.
The frailties in the Gunners’ defense could easily be exposed by Spurs, who have loads of creative talent in midfield.
Arsenal are currently second in the Premier League table, and have performed relatively well given their plight of injuries. But the crisis needs to improve soon, as they aim to win the league for the first time in 12 years.