Were any of us really surprised to hear that Arsenal have already got a couple of injury problems to cope with? After just one properly competitive game of the new season, the Gunners must travel to the intimidating atmosphere of Istanbul to face Besiktas without two of the starters from Saturday’s narrow win over Crystal Palace.
With Arsene Wenger making no secret of just how important it is for us to get into the group stages of the Champions League, the Frenchman must be a little concerned about how much we will miss the young French striker Yaya Sanogo and our first choice left back Kieran Gibbs, with the Englishman expected to miss around three weeks due to the hamstring problem that saw him replaced at the weekend.
At least we have a ready made replacement in Nacho Monreal, who did well against Palace, but the Gunners are already without Per Mertesacker in the middle and we do not have Vermaelen as cover anymore. Personally I am a little worried about our defensive strength, which the Turkish side and their central striker Demba Ba will surely try to exploit as they look to build a first leg lead. Debuchy and Monreal must be alert and not get caught out marauding forward, while any more knocks to defenders could cause us a real headache.
Sanogo’s absence should not be a big problem, as Giroud should be match fit now and his lack of pace should not be an issue with the likes of Sanchez and Ramsey making runs behind him. However, I think that Arsenal may be a bit more cautious tonight than we would have been without these two injuries. How much do you guys think it will affect us?