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Arsenal's wafer thin squad just got exposed further with Arsene Wenger declaring that three of his first team regulars Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna will all miss this weekend's clash with West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, a game the Gunners must win if they are to stay, rather shockingly in the top half of the Premier League table.
Arsenal have got off to their worst start to a Premier League campaign under Arsene Wenger, and the French tactician's cause isn't being helped by injuries to key players with Abou Diaby and Laurent Koscielny already missing from the Arsenal first team.
Bacary Sagna picked up a foot injury in the game against Everton last week, and missed the last two games against Swansea and Olympiakos. Fortunately for the Gunners they have a readymade replacement in Carl Jenkinson, but the young Englishman isn't in the best of form after having sat out for a few games in a row, losing crucial momentum after a good start to the season.
Perhaps missing for Arsenal much more crucially are two key components in their attacking third, goal threats Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott. Podolski has a hamstring strain, and will most likely be replaced by Gervinho on the left-wing, the Ivorian having started in that position in the Champions League midweek, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had a disappointing outing against Olympiakos will probably continue on the right.
The other option for Arsenal is to give Tomas Rosicky a start and either use the Czech international on the wing, or move Santi Cazorla to his more familiar position, giving Rosicky the opportunity to run the game for about 60 minutes or so, considering his lack of match fitness.
Either way, Arsene Wenger has a selection headache to look forward to against a West Brom side which has managed to hang on to 4th place in the League standings despite having suffered back to back defeats against Swansea and Stoke City coming into this game.
On a side note, while everyone appreciates Arsene Wenger's honesty and candour when it comes to player availability, one can't help but wonder whether he would be better served tactically to keep his cards closer to his chest, and not giving opposing managers so much information ahead of games which could affect the way that teams line-up against Arsenal.
- 07/12/2012 19:51 - John Terry to miss Club World Cup
- 07/12/2012 12:24 - Rosicky calls for unity in the Arsenal squad in these tough times
- 07/12/2012 10:27 - West Brom manager wary of a possible Arsenal backlash