Arsene Wenger has little or no idea how his side will line up this weekend against Chelsea. With three defenders and one midfielder probably ruled out for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea, the Arsenal Manager already has a selection problem.
Their opponents, on the other hand, have a clean bill of health and could name their starting XI without blinking. Chelsea will be pleased to hear of Arsenal’s squad selection problems and will be hoping to take advantage of such uncertainty.
Arsenal will be without Laurent Koscielny for Saturday’s trip to Wembley, having lost the long-serving centre-back in the final Premier League game of the season. Koscielny was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Everton’s Enner Valencia and has picked up a three-match ban.
Shkodran Mustafi, Koscielny’s regular defensive partner this season, is suffering from concussion which could keep him out of action on Saturday. The German defender missed a number of days of training with sickness and may be forced to sit out at Wembley. “Mustafi is still sick and hasn’t trained yet,” said Wenger on Wednesday.
Gabriel Paulista picked up a serious knee injury in the win over Everton and isn’t expected back for Arsenal until the new season. The Brazilian centre-back could be out for up to two months according to his manager. “Gabriel is out for 6-8 weeks. We had a scare about his cruciate but it’s medial. He avoids surgery,” Wenger added.
Kieran Gibbs has been struggling with a thigh injury and is another doubt, while Per Mertesacker has played just 37 minutes of football since April 2016, having recovered from a serious knee injury. And with Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain likely to play but not being 100%, Arsenal are down to their bare bones for the Chelsea clash.
Chelsea have no injuries to their first-team ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash. Every player from their title-winning season are in perfect condition and the side is picking itself on form. The Blues have two stellar goalkeepers to pick for the final in Asmir Begovic and Thibaut Courtois and have every defender available to choose from. The PFA Players’ Player of the Year N’Golo Kante is fit, as is nominee Eden Hazard, so Arsenal could be in for a rude awakening.
With Arsenal forced to name a patched together side with their players not being 100% this weekend, a fit Chelsea side buoyant after a fantastic Premier League campaign will fancy their chances of coming out on top.