Arsenal boss says squad suffering with number of absences.
Arsene Wenger seems already prepared to blame injuries if Arsenal’s fail to defend the FA Cup and are knocked out of the competition prematurely.
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The Gunners go into today’s match against Hull City, which is incidentally a replay of the 2014 final which Wenger’s side ran out 3-2 winners, with a number of injuries to key personnel.
And Wenger is fearful a lack of squad depth could wreck his side’s ability to defend Arsenal’s only trophy win in the past nine years.
“At the moment, we have a decimated squad, so that means everybody will have to contribute a lot,” said the Arsenal boss, according to The Sun.
“Honestly, I have to check who is available and who is not. The two keepers, David Ospina and Emiliano Martinez, will come in. After that, we will see.
“At least we play at home after the Christmas period. That’s not bad, because you play on December 26, 28 and on New Year’s Day.”
Four first team starters in Özil, Ramsey, Wilshere and Arteta are already confirmed out against the Tigers with Sanogo, Welbeck and Flamini all doubts for the 3rd round clash at the Emirates.
Arsenal met Hull for the first time since their FA Cup triumph in the Premier League earlier this season and succumbed to a disappointing 2-2 draw.
“Hull are a team that are always very dangerous,” warned Wenger. “They have had a bad run but can still go away and win, so you are cautious.
[Winning the FA Cup is] a great memory but we have a big job to do.
“We want to keep the trophy. We’ve won it five times in my period in charge so that means we know the importance that it has.
“There is a little pressure but there is also a motivation not to lose the cup that is in your home.”