Arsenal are facing a crisis ahead of tonight’s meeting with Chelsea, with up to six players potentially missing out through injury.
Arsenal could be without Laurent Koscielny, Sead Kolašinac, Mesut Özil, Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud against the Blues.
Kolašinac and Koscielny picked up their knocks during Sunday’s trip to the Hawthorns, but they’re reportedly the closest to a return.
Ozil remains doubtful. He was due to have a test on Tuesday morning, but wasn’t seen in training which hints that he might be missing out.
Monreal could be out for a couple of weeks, while Ramsey hopes to return for Arsenal’s League Cup meeting with Chelsea.
Nacho Monreal [ankle] will be out for a little longer than initially thought. "He should be a couple of weeks." Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey [hamstring] is targeting a return against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup. #AFC
— Ben Dinnery (@BenDinnery) January 2, 2018
Olivier Giroud isn’t expected back until February, which means Danny Welbeck or Theo Walcott could fill in for Alexandre Lacazette should Arsene Wenger afford the Frenchman a rest.
Given the importance of this evening’s Premier League meeting, having such a depleted squad couldn’t have come at a worse time. Arsenal are currently sixth in the table with 31 points from 21 games.
A win against Chelsea could see them leapfrog rivals Tottenham, and narrow the gap to fourth-placed Liverpool to three points. Arsenal could have somewhat of a makeshift defence for this evening’s meeting, which could harm their chances of getting a much-needed victory.