Arsenal face Preston North End in the FA Cup this weekend, and boss Arsene Wenger seemingly has several selection headaches ahead due to injuries.
Speaking to the media at his pre-match press conference at London Colney on Thursday, as reported by The Mirror, the French tactician provided updates on a number of key first-team stars and it doesn’t sound particularly positive.
Wenger confirmed that midfield ace Francis Coquelin will be sidelined for between three and four weeks after sustaining a hamstring injury, while Lucas Perez and Mesut Ozil are doubtful to feature with the former picking up an ankle knock in midweek.
Ozil has missed the last two games due to illness, and could well be out for another this weekend as the Gunners look to put together a cup run to appease the growing unrest at the club after faltering in their Premier League title bid over the festive period.
Meanwhile, Wenger also confirmed that he would rest Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez against Preston, which is a sensible move given the amount of football that they’ve played over the last few months as he looks to protect them for a very important next few months.
It all got a bit bleaker too as the 67-year-old confirmed that Santi Cazorla’s recovery “is not going as quickly as I imagined it would”, thus suggesting that the Spaniard could be ruled out for longer than the initial three-month estimate.
On a brighter note, the Arsenal manager did suggest that Danny Welbeck could be involved against Preston, but it will depend on how well he feels and if Perez is indeed ruled out.
In turn, Arsenal supporters can expect numerous changes this weekend as they rotate and look to keep up the pace in the Premier League title race.
Whether or not it backfires on Wenger remains to be seen, but from an injury standpoint, he’ll hope to get all of his players back healthy sooner rather than later in order to get back on track after the disappointment of being held to a draw at Bournemouth this week and dropping more points.