Arsene Wenger held his pre-match press conference today ahead of the FA cup clash between Arsenal and the Championship league leaders Middlesborough at the Emirates stadium on Sunday. And although the Frenchman did not confirm it completely, it appears highly unlikely that we are going to be able to call on Alexis Sanchez for the crucial clash.
So with the visiting team having an excellent recent record, especially defensively, the concern will be about how the Gunners manage to break them down without our star man. With 18 goals so far this season, the Chilean is clearly our most potent threat and is the only Gunner that has reached double figures.
But we should not be panicking just yet Gooners, because Arsenal do have a couple of other weapons in our armoury. I am talking about Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott, who are both just recently back from their own injury problems.
Wenger has been very careful with the England international after he spent around a year on the sidelines but Theo has now played a few times and should be fully fit and fired up to take the place of Alexis on the wing. And he has already found his shooting boots again, with three goals from his last three starts, including a second minute opener against Brighton in the last round of the cup.
Ozil has been even better, rediscovering his old knack of providing assists but also scoring the goals that his talent deserves. The question is whether having these two stars back and in form can counter the absence of Alexis Sanchez and get us past Middlesborough into the quarter-finals. What do you think?