Positive Injury News Ahead of Sunderland Clash
Season in, season out, Arsenal has become synonymous with injuries and that trend hasn’t changed this season.
There have been some noticeable absentees in the course of the campaign but Arsene Wenger has shared some positive news ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Sunderland,
“We will make a decision on Saturday on Koscielny and Walcott, they could both make the squad. Gibbs is available again for the weekend.”
Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs are players that have well documented fitness problems with this article on Paddy Power’s Blog showing that Walcott has been Abou Diaby-esque in recent times. The Englishman was settling into life as a center forward and he had a couple of goals to show for it, as well as providing very stiff competition to Olivier Giroud that has brought out the best in both forwards.
However, he lasted barely 10 minutes in the disappointing defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in October and his calf injury turned out to be a thorn in Arsenal’s flesh, as they were without the forward for two months. Walcott’s return to fitness is highly welcome, especially at a time when the Gunners are set to face a spell without Alexis Sanchez in the side. With the paucity of options available, I wouldn’t expect Walcott to start ahead of Giroud, but alongside the Frenchman on the flanks.
As for Laurent Koscielny, his importance to the team cannot be over emphasized and I believe that Wenger shouldn’t risk him against Sunderland this weekend. No disrespect to the Black Cats but Arsenal can soldier on against them with Gabriel Paulista and Per Mertesacker in the heart of the defense. We will need Koscielny in the game against Olympiakos that would undoubtedly be Arsenal’s game of the season.
Kieran Gibbs has played a bit-part role this season thanks to the excellent form of Nacho Monreal but the Gunners will be thankful for his vital goal in the North London Derby as it saved the home side from the jaws of defeat. However, Gibbs gives his manager an option in the left hand side of defense and attack, and he can always be deployed to strut his stuff in the coming weeks.
A preview for the Sunderland game will be published tomorrow.
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