Injury worries increase as Kieran Gibbs is a doubt for Wembley

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Arsenal’s defensive worries ahead of the FA Cup have increased after Kieran Gibbs emerged as a major doubt for Saturday’s clash with Chelsea.

Having already lost Laurent Koscielny to suspension and Gabriel to injury, there are also big worries over Shkodran Mustafi who has yet to return to training after a concussion.

The German was too ill to play on the final day against Everton, and remains so far under weather that he can’t even train. It means he’s a huge doubt for the Wembley showdown, and that news was compounded by the revelation that Gibbs is struggling with a thigh injury.

If he were to miss out, it would leave Arsene Wenger with a massive headache when it comes to his team selection for Saturday.

He has only Rob Holding and Per Mertesacker currently available as centre-halves, and Nacho Monreal could have joined them in a back three with Gibbs at wing-back.

However, without the England international, he may have to revert to a back four, unless he does something unexpected like deploy the fit again Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the left-sided wing-back.

For a game like this, against opposition like this, it’s a blow to lose to many defenders, but Cohen Bramall should be fine making his debut in the FA Cup final.

?

It sounds as if Wenger is going to leave it late to make final decisions, saying of Mertesacker’s potential involvement, “I don’t know as he has not played 90 minutes for a long time. He has the leadership qualities.

“It depends a little bit on the system I will go for.”

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Paul

Lucky old Chelsea.

Hope we get some good news soon.

SG_Gooner

Well, we can consider Coq or elneney in the sweeper role too, with chelsea using the clown in that role for them…

let’s press on!

Bosscielny

We should seriously consider playing ox as the lwb.

Hank Scorpio

I’m hoping so too. The back 3 is working well & the Ox was great on the right. No reason he can’t do a job on the left. Another option could be to play Coq in the back 3 & Nacho out wide though I’d prefer the first option. We’ll be exposed I think with a back 4.

Arun

Let me quote what I stated earlier You know why Arsene wouldn’t use that and I could completely understand too : We will have no width on the left wing, Ox will cut inside as he’s so one-footed and so will Alexis or Welbeck or whoever plays ahead. So we either play Monreal as the wingback or Gibbs or play them as left back in a back 4, but it won’t be ox on the left. And we are not playing 3-4-3, it is effectively 5-2-2-1 with two attacking wingbacks. If I can read our cautious manager’s mind as ever… Read more »

Hi-brid

What the actual fuck?!

Getso gunner

And we are playing Chelsea

Shonky

Can’t remember a Cup Final of any kind I’ve dreaded more….a thrashing on the cards. All over by half time.

SG_Gooner

dun fret, we beat parma, they had zola, asprilla, brolin and melli

Nivlac

Oh God. Coq as wing back 😮

bazza_wicks

we only have one Coq and were fucked & John Terry will come on fully donned in his footie kit to parade the trophy fuck am i dreaming or is a nightmare…..

Paul

Aren’t we playing Man city . Why are you talking about CheChelsea ?

Adriano

Emergency recall for Bielik! Just kidding, kind of, because I think it’s impossible. But he’s been really impressive on loan, if we could, we should…

Insider9

Starting lineup if we start with back three
(thumbs up)

********** Welbeck **********
******* Sanchez – Ozil *********
Monreal – Xhaka – Ramsey – Bellerin
***** Coq – BFG – Holding *****
************ Cech ***********

But don’t be surprised to see this if we go with back 4
(thumbs down)

********** Giroud *************
**** Sanchez – Ozil – Ramsey *****
********** Xhaka – Coq *********
* Monreal – BFG – Holding – Bellerin *
********** Cech **************

Nordin

Where is Ox?

Insider9

I’d play Ox. Issue is he’ll have to reshuffle based on who’s available and lack of CB is a big issue.

Unfortunately, if we go with back 4 I don’t see Wenger starting with him. Mainly because he’ll need Coq providing cover for two central defenders which means no room for Ramsey. And he’ll want Ramsey as he’s been getting better with every game. Also Wenger likes balance so Ramsey ahead of Bellerin and to link up with Giroud. With back 4 he’ll play Giroud more for his defensive qualities as we’d have problems with set pieces otherwise.

Arsepedant

Thumbs down for both of those.

Liam

Mathieu Debuchy – problem solved…

On a serious note, I’m sure we’ll have to switch to a back 4 again, we don’t really have the personnel left for a back 3.

Orion

I actually would rather play Bramall at lwb than revert to a back 4.

My name is Jeff

When called for comment, Nigel Tufnel replied “There’s something about this that’s so Arsenal, it’s like how much more Arsenal could this be? And the answer is none. None more Arsenal.”

Ajirenike Oluremi

You people are very funny. It looks like you’re happy to carry any negative news about arsenal. Please be civil while writing any news about our club

PodB

Is Carl Jenkinson still working? Saw a shot of him and Ox in training yesterday.
OX must play if fully fit to contain Moses and then destroy him and Terry.
Per in back five with Holding at cb, Monreal at cb and Ox on left, with Hector on right. We could even win this

GunnerYY

Blessing in disguise, i hope Perez will have the chance this saturday

fengunner

Look, in my mind, this is all down to referees not giving a fuck about our players. One knocked out, another concussed to the point of fucking disability – and fucking PGMOL and the FA get away with it!

Maybe it’s time to sue the FA – they don’t seem to care about sending our players off for SFA (even Kos on that Everton diver didn’t actually HURT him).

Innocent

I hope with the injury list, favor shall be on our side
Gunners to win

Santori

I don’t see a problem.

Just put Ox as an inverted left w8my back.

monreal covers him as left side of back 3.

Then we can benefit from BOTH Bellerin and the Ox.

You can even Bri g Gibbs in layer to cover with More defensive bias.

AND its not as if Mustafi is stricken down by the plague. He may recover by Sat.