Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal fans will be hoping to get more good news tomorrow on the fitness of some key players, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wojciech Szczesny, Yaya Sanogo, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal all due to be assessed to see if they can feature for the Gunners against high flying Southampton on Wednesday evening.
The Spanish left back seems certain to miss out with his knee injury, but there is a good chance for all of the others, which would be very handy, especially Gibbs. But that is not the good news that I refer to in the title od this article. That comes in the shape of one of our transfer targets Morgan Schneiderlin.
The Frenchman has been absolutely vital to how well the Saints have done this season under Ronald Koeman, but he was forced off at halftime in their game against Man City today with a muscular problem in his thigh. And I do not think it was a coincidence that Southampton started to lose the midfield battle after Scneiderlin was replaced, with Yaya Toure able to break from deep and shoot unchallenged for City’s opening goal.
The Saints defence, the meanest in the Premier League, has been the main reason for their success and Schneiderlin protecting the back four has been a major part of that defensive solidity so for him to miss the game at the Emirates gives us a much better chance of scoring and winning.
And although they have only lost two away games so far, they are weaker on the road and have conceded most of their goals away from St. Mary’s. But can Arsenal take advantage of their injury problem and their dented confidence?