Wenger announced a number of injuries at his press conference earlier in the week with Olivier Giroud (ankle) and Kieran Gibbs (calf) joining Mesut Ozil (shoulder) and Aaron Ramsey (thigh) on the sidelines.
Tomas Rosicky (calf), Nacho Monreal (illness), Jack Wilshere (ankle), Theo Walcott (shoulder) and Thomas Vermaelen (illness) were all doubtful also, but the last three were pictured training and are expected to be available. There is hope Monreal and Rosicky should be available too.
Wenger initially revealed the following team news on Tuesday morning:
Starting of course first with Ramsey and Ozil who are out, and we lost Gibbs at Newcastle with a calf strain. We have as well Monreal and Vermaelen who are not certain to be ready because they have come just back from illness, then we have uncertainty about Rosicky, Wilshere, Walcott. We lost Giroud to an ankle problem at Newcastle so this morning will be more medical checks to see who will be available for the game.
[on Ramsey and Ozil
Ramsey three weeks and Ozil has seen a specialist last night, I haven’t got a report yet.
[on Walcott and Rosicky]
Walcott has a little shoulder problem. Rosicky got a little kick on his calf. They are all going to be assessed this morning.
[on Oxlade-Chamberlain] Alex is one week away from normal training.
The Arsenal boss has options in attack to replace Olivier Giroud, one of which is the underused Nicklas Bendtner who would be my preferred option. Walcott and Podolski are certainly viable candidates however the duo are excellent wingers and we need plenty of width and potency in attack.
Wenger told Arsenal’s official website:
I have to think about the best possible solution for the team because we have other uncertainties. Whether it is Podolski, whether it is Walcott, whether it is Bendtner – whoever plays up front the most important thing is the balance of the team.
See here for our predicted lineup and match preview.