Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is reportedly set to have to make a last-minute call on whether or not Shkodran Mustafi can play in the FA Cup final.
The Gunners take on Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday evening, but the French tactician has a real problem on his hands in defence for the clash with Antonio Conte’s men.
Laurent Koscielny is suspended after seeing red against Everton last weekend, while Gabriel suffered a serious knee injury and will be absent.
The situation gets worse as noted by The Mirror, with Mustafi missing training this week due to concussion. While he remains confident that he will play, it will out of his hands as he needs to pass strict FA and Premier League guidelines after suffering the blow to the head last Tuesday night.
In the event that he is forced to sit out, that will leave Wenger potentially forced into fielding a makeshift back three of Per Mertesacker, Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal.
There is of course a second option in that the Arsenal boss reverts back to a back four, but it remains to be seen what he’s more comfortable with in a crucial game that he will feel he has to win after another disappointing season.
With his contract expiring this summer and a decision expected in the coming weeks over his future, winning the FA Cup could well be the perfect goodbye, or it may well be an achievement to spur him on and continue in the job.
Either way, it looks as though the odds will be stacked up against the Gunners, as with the potential defence that they’ll be forced to field, Chelsea will fancy their chances of scoring goals on Saturday.