Arsenal’s injury list can once again fill an entire paragraph.
Theo Walcott requires more time to heal his chest after his collision on international duty and will remain in London. Diaby, Szcznesy and Rosicky are continually ‘two weeks away’, Fabianski has ruined his ankle so could be out for a big chunk of the season while Gibbs will not be fit for this weekends League clash with Norwich.
England’s postponed match has put Oxlade-Chamberlain’s starting spot in jeopardy due to sleeping issues with the fixture rescheduled for the next day.
Arsene Wenger revealed the following team news:
[on Theo Walcott] Theo is out for Saturday, for sure. He has an injury to his chest and lungs. We have to treat that clinically. He’s quickly short of breath when he makes an effort but it’s bruising and that will heal. It’s no major concern but it will take we think about two weeks to be back to a normal level.
[on Kieran Gibbs] Kieran Gibbs is out for Saturday because he went off against West Ham. He’s not healed yet. He has a little chance to be ready for Wednesday and a bigger chance for QPR.
[on Szczesny and Fabianski] Fabianski sees a specialist today [Thursday]. I don’t know what will come out of that. It’s an ankle ligament problem – a new problem. He was back in training before that. Szczesny I think is two weeks away.
[on Rosicky and Diaby] Rosicky is still a few weeks away and Diaby as well.
[On Chamberlain's inclusion in Saturdays squad] He will be in the squad for the weekend.
It’s not easy to deal with that [kind of delay]. When you prepare for a game, it’s a disappointment not to play. Then you always have problems to sleep and the next day you have to get ready again.
In France, it was usual like that when we played. When we couldn’t play a game because of bad weather, and that happened sometimes in the south of France, you played always the next day. It’s never easy to deal with that but it’s the same conditions for both teams.
The worrying part of the news is the lack of progress Rosicky and Diaby are making in their recoveries. The duo have been ‘two weeks’ away for a number of weeks now, but there has been little mention of whether they have suffered further setbacks.
Szczesny has suffered a setback as we had earlier reported so there is no surprises there, Gibbs’ absent could potentially be detrimental to the lineup with Santos’ disregard to logical defending.
Luckily Walcott is the only casualty from the international break with the likes of Cazorla, Giroud and Vermaelen in action as well as a recovered Kosielny from an initial injury scare. Chambo only had 17 minutes so he should be involved, with Podolski playing a minimal amount of time and Gevinho’s Ivory Coast fixture ending prematurely due to rioting.
Overall though the Gunners first XI is looking strong despite the mentioned absentees and will be looking to demo Norwich this weekend – check out our betting preview for the latest odds!
Be sure to check out the Matchday thread in the allarsenal forums for prematch thoughts from Gooners!