Arsene Wenger must be very worried about Arsenal’s striking options ahead of next week’s visit to Manchester United. Lucas Perez, Chuba Akpom and Danny Welbeck are out injured with little hope of a return for any of them before Christmas. The latest news from Chile about Alexis Sanchez’s hamstring is very very worrying, and Yaya Sanogo is …. well, Yaya Sanogo!
So, unless Arsenal get very lucky with a rapid recovery from Alexis (extremely unlikely) it would seem that our only recognised centre-forward is Olivier Giroud, who has hardly kicked a ball all season, but came of the bench to score twice against Sunderland, but is he ready to play a full 90 minutes now or next week? The answer is no, according to the French coach Didier Deschamps..
France play Sweden in a World Cup Qualifier this evening, and Deshamps said in the pre-match conference: “He [Giroud] is not 100 per cent fit, I know it and he knows it too,” Deschamps said.
“He has started one match [this season] because he was injured, and that is why he couldn’t be with us last month. But do not interpret that in one way or in another.
“I took him in September even though he hadn’t played, and he played the first and the second game.
“I know what Olivier is able to do and Kevin [Gameiro] too. All this plays a part in my thinking.”
So this would appear to indicate that Giroud will not be starting tonight, but maybe he could be used as a supersub later on in the game, which is hardly going to help getting him match-fit for Arsenal next week.
So what are the chances of him starting against Man United?