Abou Diaby’s injury horror still continues as he is set for a further three to four weeks on the sidelines which is the initial length Wenger stated..two months ago.
Theo Walcott is set to miss this weekends clash against Aston Villa with the shoulder injury that kept him out of yesterday’s UCL victory over Montpellier.
There is however some good news as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should be fit for the Premier League fixture on Saturday after his knock, Santos remains injured and Tomas Rosicky is closing on his long awaited return.
Arsene Wenger has revealed the following team news:
[on the latest team news] Santos is out for 10 days with an abdominal strain. Oxlade-Chamberlain looks alright. Theo [Walcott] is out for Saturday, but has a chance for Wednesday at Everton.
[on Abou Diaby] If all goes well, three to four weeks.
[on Tomas Rosicky] He should be back with us on Monday. He started in team training on Monday. Last year from January to the end of the season he was one of the most influential players in our squad. I hope he can repeat that because until now we haven’t seen him and he was injured at the European Championship. He has a similar injury to Scott Parker, they had operations at the same time and they will come back basically at the same time. It is very difficult [mentally] for him, because Tomas is a guy who loves to play, who is happy on a football pitch. When you have been injured as many times as he has been, it is not easy to take.
The return of Rosicky could be very handy, especially with the hectic festive period fast approaching. Cazorla is the first choice attacking midfielder but he will be able to rotate with the Czech for the midweek fixtures.
Diaby’s future is looking more and more grim. He’s an incredible player when he is fit but that rarely is the case, hopefully he can return over the Christmas period too and be used sparingly.
With three matches in the space of a week coming up, Wenger will surely look to rotate things around, with one eye on the tough Everton fixture next week. Kieran Gibbs should feature against Aston Villa with Koscielny dropping to the bench, while Gervinho may get his first start since his injury either out wide or for Giroud.
It is a shame to loose Walcott again for this weekend, but hopefully he will be fit for the Everton clash as he is producing his best form at present. But the news of Chambo’s fitness will make up for the loss of his compatriot.