With a host of important games coming up and the number of Arsenal players in the treatment room growing by the day, I thought it would be a good idea to give you an accurate update of our current injury situation.
I’ve included everyone who didn’t feature in the last game because of injury, their expected return date and fixture and the number of games they are likely to miss.
I’ve also included Alex Song and Emmanuel Eboue who are not injured but away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
- Theo Walcott – Back 20 January – Bolton (EPL) – Misses 0 games
- Denilson – Back 20 January – Bolton (EPL) – Misses 0 games
- Fran Merida – Back 24 January – Stoke City (FA Cup) – Misses 1 game
- Nicklas Bendtner – Back 27 January – Aston Villa (EPL) – Misses 2 games
- Emmanuel Eboue – Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games (assuming Ivory Coast make at least the semi-finals)
- Alex Song – Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games (assuming Cameroon make at least the semi-finals)
- Aaron Ramsey – Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games
- Samir Nasri – Back 7 February – Chelsea (EPL) – Misses 4 games
- Kieran Gibbs – Mid-February (estimation)
- Robin van Persie – Mid-April (estimation)
- Johan Djourou – Out for the season (estimation)
Assuming we avoid picking up any major injury worries things are actually looking quite decent for the season-defining period when we play Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in a row.
Up front Nicklas Bendtner’s return will give us the physical striker we have been craving for all four of the big games. It will also allow Wenger to rotate the other attackers (Andrey Arshavin, Eduardo, Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, Carlos Vela) as required to keep things sharp. The big problem would emerge if Bendtner gets a re-occurrence of his groin problem so fingers crossed he comes back strong.
Midfield looks our biggest concern but assuming there are no further problems a Cesc Fabregas-Denilson-Abou Diaby will be available for both Villa and Manchester United before Alex Song returns from Africa to play against Chelsea and Liverpool. Rosicky could provide cover if one of the three remaining midfielders goes down while Ramsey and Nasri will also return for the game at Stamford Bridge and will provide good options off the bench.
Defensively we look fine. Gael Clichy’s inevitable return on Wednesday should see the first-choice back-four restored while the signing of Sol Campbell will provide experienced cover in the unlikely event that Thomas Vermaelen or William Gallas take a knock. Armand Traore has shown he can do a job while Emmanuel Eboue will be ready to step up if Sagna gets injured.
For all of our injuries when you break it down like this we’re in a much better position to cope with the upcoming fixtures than many people realise.
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