Arsenal’s mid-season injury curse has once again taken shape this year, costing them heavily throughout December and January. Nacho Monreal, Laurent Kosciely, Sead Kolacinac, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck have all suffered injuries that have kept them out for some time, but we are starting to see a few return to action. So, who is in, and who is out against Chelsea?
Ramsey has been out for around eight weeks, and his absence has had a catastrophic effect on Lacazette’s form in front of goal. Despite missing out on Saturday, Ramsey is set for a test before the game tonight, and if he’s fit, his inclusion is crucial.
Say what you want about the big man, but Arsenal have missed him heavily. His lengthy absence has coincided with Lacazette’s drought, and his availability would have lightened the load on his compatriot. Even if Giroud is passed fit, it’s likely he would not be included as he appears to be tying up a loan move to Dortmund as part of the Aubameyang deal.
The Spaniard had an incredible 34 minutes on Saturday, scoring and assisting two, but was forced off with a knock to his hamstring. After the game, Wenger said that he was taken off as a precaution, with the team already 4-0 up, and a late fitness test has been scheduled for today. Nacho’s inclusion could be a big boost for Arsenal, as he knows what it takes to win a cup semi-final.
Danny Welbeck is currently suffering from a hip injury, and is likely to be short for tonight’s game. While Welbeck is great at stretching the defence and making those runs out wide, his lack of technical ability, and horrendous finishing can cost Arsenal in big games. With Iwobi starting to get back to form, Welbeck’s absence could be a blessing in disguise.
Arsenal’s new signing is not injured, but is cup tied for Arsenal’s league cup semi-final. This may be another blessing for Arsenal as Mkhitaryan’s confidence is very low, and a week of love at London Colony may do him the world of good before Tuesday’s game against Swansea.
As you know, Santi was never in contention for the game, but he did say yesterday that he is recovering from his 10th operation, and will hopefully return to top level action next year. It’s been a tough time for the Spaniard, and we wish him all the best.
Tonight’s game is a must win for Arsenal, and Wenger must play a full strength team to ensure Arsenal progress. Ozil and Lacazette must be at the races, as Arsenal look short of match winners if Aaron Ramsey does not make the squad.