The Gunners are still suffering an injury crisis ahead of Tuesday’s must-win Champions League group fixture against Dinamo Zagreb at Emirates Stadium
By Greg Stobart
Arsenal’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League are hanging by a thread with the Gunners picking up just three points from their first four group matches.
On Tuesday, they face a must-win home fixture against Dinamo Zagreb with Arsene Wenger’s injury problems continuing to grow following the news that Francis Coquelin will be out for at least two months and possibly much longer with knee ligament damage.
Wenger had hoped to rest Alexis Sanchez before the Gunners’ busy December schedule, but he has no alternatives with his squad stretched by injuries and in a position where they cannot afford to drop points.
Aaron Ramsey is fit again, although Wenger says the Welshman is not ready to start after taking part in just one training session, with Santi Cazorla and Mathieu Flamini expected to play in central midfield.
Kieran Gibbs played poorly as a makeshift left-winger in Saturday’s defeat to West Brom, so Joel Campbell could return to the side and allow Alexis to move back to his preferred position on the left.
Wenger spoke about Calum Chambers as a potential option in defensive midfield, but surely the Arsenal manager will not risk the youngster in an unfamiliar position for such an important game?
One player who could come into the side, though, is Gabriel. The Brazilian centre-back has impressed this season alongside Laurent Koscielny and many supporters are clamouring for him to replace Per Mertesacker in the first-choice starting line-up.