Ahead of the North London derby on Saturday, Arsenal could be without a key defender, midfielder and striker, with the international break taking a number of victims.
Olivier Giroud is a doubt, after picking up an injury against Wales. Fortunately, this news came just as reports emerged that Danny Welbeck could be set to return at the weekend. So Arsenal will have a first-team striker on the bench.
However, if Welbeck doesn’t make it back in time, perhaps we could see a first Premier League call up for Eddie Nketiah. The teenager has scored five goals in his last two games for the England u19s, and seems to be on a roll ever since his first-team brace against Norwich.
Meanwhile, Laurent Koscielny is another a doubt, after missing training because of pain in his achilles tendon. Again, the timing isn’t too bad, as Shkodran Mustafi and Calum Chambers are both set to return from injury for the weekend’s match.
Both players could be required to start alongside Nacho Monreal, unless we want to see another round of Francis Coquelin at centre-back.
Aaron Ramsey was also a concern, briefly, after he pulled out of the Welsh squad to face Panama. However, Chris Coleman has since confirmed that the midfielder is fit and available for the weekend, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
Arsenal seem to have adequate replacements for those who might be unavailable. It would be a big disappointment to lose Laurent Koscielny and Ramsey. Giroud hasn’t been starting matches so his absence isn’t as big a blow.
Here’s hoping no more players have picked up knocks from the last round of international duty.