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Good news for Newcastle, Wenger confirms risk of crucial Arsenal absence while duo ruled out

Arsenal face Newcastle United at the Emirates this weekend, hoping to end a run of three Premier League games without a win.

Following on from the disappointment of losing to Man Utd, the Gunners have been held to back-to-back draws by Southampton and West Ham United, leaving them at risk of falling adrift in the race to qualify for the Champions League.

In turn, Arsene Wenger will be desperate to get back to winning ways as soon as possible, but he may have a couple of selection headaches on Saturday.

As seen in the tweets below from freelance injury analyst Ben Dinnery, Wenger has conceded that it would be a ‘little gamble’ to play Shkodran Mustafi, as he continues to struggle with an injury picked up in that loss against United.

Should he miss out again, it’s going to cause Arsenal a real problem. As seen in the last two games, whether it’s Per Mertesacker slotting into a back three or reverting to a back four with Nacho Monreal in the middle, the Gunners are lacking real defensive steel at the back which Mustafi could certainly help address.

As a result, they’ll be hoping he can pass a late fitness test, but it doesn’t sound overly positive at the minute and that will be a real blow for them.

Meanwhile, Wenger also noted that midfielder Aaron Ramsey and forward Theo Walcott have been ruled out of facing Newcastle with a hamstring injury and groin problem respectively, with a three-week layoff touted by the Gunners boss for the Welshman.

Arsenal can ill-afford to drop more points this weekend, and in order to avoid doing so, they need to be better defensively while rediscovering their cutting edge up front.

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