Mark Noble is a doubt for West Ham United’s trip to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, after picking up a back injury.
West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed in his pre-match press conference that Noble has joined three other players on the injury table at the club.
“In this week, we just have the three players who will continue to be injured for a couple of months more and Mark Noble has a problem with his back that means he couldn’t work,” he explained.
The other three absentees Pellegrini is referring to are Winston Reid, Manuel Lanzini and Andy Carroll. All of them have had some good games against Arsenal in the past, so that’s probably no bad thing for the Gunners. At the same time, Unai Emery has a growing injury list of his own, so it only really evens the score.
We likely won’t know whether Noble is going to make it back in time for the Arsenal match until the lineups are released on Saturday. If he can’t make it back though, West Ham have a big enough squad to cope in his absence. Pedro Obiang, Carlos Sanchez and Declan Rice are all capable of filling in.
The other point of interest for Arsenal fans (other than Jack Wilshere, who will almost certainly play) is whether Lucas Perez will get his first start against his former club. Pellegrini didn’t give any hints on that front, so we’ll have to wait and see.