Arsene Wenger told his post-Manchester United press conference that the team have a few new injury worries after the trip to Old Trafford.
The manager told reporters that a trio of players picked up knocks during the match. At that point he explained that they all needed further assessment before he could know how serious the problems are.
“Mkhitaryan, I took him off because he had a little knock on his knee on the same thing [as his previous injury],” Wenger said. “We’re just looking at him in the dressing room. Ospina has a rib problem, Alex Iwobi has a hamstring problem. So we’ll see how everybody recovers, because Thursday will come very quickly.”
When asked if any of them will definitely miss Thursday’s match, Wenger responded: “Definitely? At the moment, no. But we have to monitor them.”
The most worrying of the three injuries is Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s. A recurrence of an existing issue is almost never something you can easily dismiss. Plus he could make a massive difference in the tie on Thursday. He scored a great goal against Manchester United and the team always up their game when he’s involved.
David Ospina and Alex Iwobi managed to play on until the end, so hopefully they’ll be alright. If not, Petr Cech can come in for the trip to Madrid without much difficulty.
In all honesty, Iwobi probably wasn’t going to start in the first place. Wenger didn’t start him last Thursday, and admitted afterwards he didn’t bring the player off the bench because “he is not full of confidence”. That’s unlikely to change before the match.
We should know more when Wenger gives his pre-Madrid press conference in the coming days.