Preparations for any Arsenal game are, more often than not, either bewildered by those adding to the queue outside the treatment room or boosted by those who have convalesced, and the vital group game stage game against Dortmund on Wednesday will be no different.
Koscielny is back, and what great news that must be. Even Wenger himself admitted to the welcome of his quality back to the squad after a run of ‘survivals’ with Nacho Monreal. The French defender last turned out for us at Stamford Bridge after which he couldn’t join up with the French National team for International duty.
Yaya Sanogo will start today against Dortmund. Yes, you read right. As you already know, Giroud was not registered in the 25-man list to participate in the Group Stages in anticipation of his return in January and with Danny Welbeck not participating in practice on Tuesday, it leaves Wenger with the chance to give his protégé another chance to show just why he believes in him. Welbeck is believed to have shaved his knee and is expected to be rested so as to allow for proper assessment and reduce risk of aggravation. The euphoria that surrounded Theo Walcott’s recovery has somewhat simmered after he returned from England duty with a groin strain, leaving us with Alexis, Ox, Podolski and Campbell – if he will be remembered.
Disappointing enough was the ignominy of our defeat to Louis van Gaal’s team on Saturday but more of a significant predicament would have been the loss of key players Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere to what appeared to have been serious knocks.
Jack Wilshere appeared to have turned his ankle following McNair’s lunging tackle which went unnoticed and unpunished by center referee, Mike Dean. It is already been reported that he could be out of action for as many as three months and his initial hands-on-head reaction while still on the deck would give leaf to that. Wilshere’s history of ankle turns-in are well documented and taking a hit, this time on his left ankle, would remain a concern for Arsene Wenger. This is more of a serious blow considering the fact he has indeed been on a rich vein of form from his exploits with Roy Hodgson’s side, with gooners looking to see him carry it on with imposing displays at the Emirates.
Of equal concern would be Wojciech Szczesny’s hit to the ribs after clashing with Kieran Gibbs in the lead up to United’s first goal at the weekend. With David Ospina already out till the New Year, Wenger would certainly not want to rely on just a 22-year old Emi Martinez for the ridiculously hectic Christmas schedule of games, though it is believed that the Pole would make a sooner recovery than that of Wilshere.
Follow oohtobeagooner on Facebook
for more latest Arsenal transfer news, injury news, team news and rumours.