Injuries and Covid decimate Arsenal team ahead of Chelsea clash

Poor old Mikel Arteta must feel like one of the unluckiest managers in the world right now. Every time he buys a player they immediately get injured and miss half the season, then on the opening day of his career-defining season, he loses four players to Covid, including his two top strikers.

Yes we were all annoyed that we were not told about the outbreak on the day of the game, but we can understand that the Premier League did not want to mar the very first day with full crowds back in the stadium with news that Covid is still around to disrupt our season.

But it’s not just Covid of course. We lost both Eddie Nketiah and Thomas Partey in pre-season, ironically against Sunday’s opponents Chelsea. Neither of them are expected to rejoin the squad for at least another two weeks. Partey in particular was a blow as he had already missed half of his debut season with injury and we were hoping for big things from him in this campaign.

To make matters worse, Arteta’s expensive defensive signing from last summer, Gabriel Magalhaes, also sustained a knee injury with the Brazilian Olympic squad and will also be out for at least the next two weeks. Gabriel also missed half of last season with injury and left Arteta cursing his luck yet again.

Of our four Covid patients, Lacazette and Runarsson are definitely out of the squad for the Chelsea match, and Aubameyang and Willian “will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s game.

We also found out today that our latest signing Martin Odegaard will not complete all the necessary paperwork by Sunday, so all-in-all, it is looking pretty bleak for the unlucky Mr Arteta and all we can hope for is that his makeshift side put up a good fight against Chelsea’s star-studded squad….

Tags Arsenal injury list


  1. Havyn says:

    I pray that Mari won’t play but rather Holding
    From the few games, he’s a disaster waiting to happen. Holding is the better of the two
    Why Arteta bought him and Cedric is a mystery bar the influence of Kia Joorabchan

    1. PJ-SA says:

      Cedric hasn’t really dome much wrong to be fair. Better than Bellerin and definitely a better attacking fullback than Chambers.

    2. Raghav says:

      I pray for a 3 at the back. Seems like the only way to avoid an embarrassing scoreline.

    3. Dr Onyeukwu says:

      I think the weakest link in Arsenal is Chambers. He’s not just good to play for us . Why Arteta plays him remains strange.

      1. JanV says:

        I like Chambers. He is better than Bellerin at the moment and he is a decent CD. I hope we start Cedric if we play 4 at the back and Chambers if we play 3 at the back.

  2. gotanidea says:

    Chelsea always have a bully as their main CF since Abramovich came, from Drogba to Costa and Lukaku

    They change their manager and players every two years. This practice makes them train and play with various systems, therefore they need a strong CF who’s tasked to keep the ball in the front line

    The last CF at Arsenal who fits the criteria is Giroud

    I think Wenger and Gazidis were disappointed with Giroud’s limitations, hence they recruited Lacazette and Aubameyang. Unfortunately they didn’t factor in Giroud’s aerial presence and his ability to handle the opposition’s CBs

    1. RichSAAlao says:

      Wenger and Gazidis were disappointed? Really?
      Were they the ones who called him ”donkey, lamppost, ..”
      Giroud is a special striker, underappreciated by Arsenal fans but appreciated by fans of other clubs he had played for. God be praised, he won some exciting things, except EPL, nothing else there is he missed so far.
      I for one love Giroud like a romance, his intelligence and mental strength is admirable. He was never thinking, oh the team is weak, no good teammates, he was ready any game, anywhere.

      1. gotanidea says:

        There are some reasons why he was called a lamp post, but the team have definitely missed his presence in the front line

        It’ll be great if we can find a CF with Giroud’s and Lacazette’s strengths

      2. Loose Cannon says:

        Agree and some blamed him for Ozil’s non performances, after his exit paving way for Auba & Laca, the imposter got exposed. He stole CR7 & Sanchez’s brilliances to further expand his salary only.
        Back to the topic, none of the 5 mentioned are game changers (including Auba in his post contract extension era) so Mikel has to rely on his plan A only. If Saka-Martenelli can nip an early goal and Ramsdale features, we can comfortably win.

    2. Sylva says:

      What can you say about Arteta not using Cederic? He may not be pacey like Bellerin but he seem a better defender and he he can also shoot when in decent positions. Opponent in the box badly pass Cederic. Against Chelsea we need someone like Cederic. Chambers is better as a center defender.

      1. gotanidea says:

        Maybe Arteta wants a tall RB as a starter or he wants to convince Chambers to sign a new contract

  3. PJ-SA says:

    Injuries are part of the Arsenal DNA….soft mentally and physically!

  4. Highbury Hero says:

    Of all the top teams Chelsea is the one I fear less against us. Chelsea will score against us but without Aubameyang and Lacazette and mostly judging from the Brentford game I don’t see where our goals will come from.

    1. Kenya 001 says:

      Hh I don’t fear them either . Won’t put my money on them winning this game

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        They are improved compared to last season and we are missing many key players. I am not confident on this one.

    2. philmar says:

      We must pray for own goals then….

  5. Kenya 001 says:

    But we beat Chelsea 2-0 with under 19s😄😄 remember!

  6. Declan says:

    Auba trained with the squad today and I expect him to play.

  7. Pires says:

    Let’s auba will be ready

  8. Adajim says:

    Auba on the bench is better than not having him at all

  9. Abdulai kamara says:

    Hope to see Auba in that game.

  10. Emeka Frederick says:

    It will be a game everyone will expect Arsenal to lose but will end in surprise and Arteta will foolishly believe all is well. Arteta’s selection has not helped us with each passing match. Hope he gets it right with Chelsea.

  11. fairfan says:

    Chambers White Mari Tierney
    Xhaka Lokonga
    Pepe ESR Saka
    Hein Cedric AMN Tavarez Holding
    Elneny Nelson Aubameyang Balogun

    1. siamois says:

      There is a very good chance that you’ve predicted the right line up(barring injuries)

    2. Loose Cannon says:

      And that will be a delight for CFC – Leno-Chambers- Xhaka – Pepe, seems that wing is wide open for half a dozen of goals.

  12. guy says:

    I won’t blame Arteta if we lose this one. We have really had a rough deal with injuries. Clelsea are a team of roughhouse bullies – indeed its them that crocked both Nketiah and Partey by TAKING their ankles in a FRIENDLY. But no doubt the ref will be tolerant of them yet again.
    If fit to play, now would be a good time for Auba to start to repay his club and actually score a goal – along with many others, I have all but run out of patience with him. Pity about Odergaard – fully match fit (unusual for an Arsenal signing) but needs a visa to play!

    1. durand says:

      True about Chelsea’s physicality towards Arsenal players. Unfortunately, Club is known for it’s softness for years now, so of course they would.

      Burnley does the same, because they can and they know Arsenal players will do nothing about it.

      Don’t be dirty, but give them a few hard tackles, and hard touch when going for headers. Otherwise expect more of the same.

  13. James says:

    But injuries are part of every football club that’s why every club registers about more than 25 players

    1. Adajim says:

      Arsenal case is different, how do you see the big club perform without their 4 main players?, see how Liverpool struggled last season without van djik

      1. Highbury Hero says:

        Agreed good point.

  14. Sweetness says:

    Arsenal can’t play such line up bro, Starting line up should be Cedric,holding, white, Tierney

  15. Arthur Iniruo says:

    Chelsea will win the game by 1goal

    1. Otoks says:

      Had a dream 3-1 to Arsenal🤞

  16. Sue says:

    Pulisic is out; tested positive

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      Why are players not vaccinated considering vaccines are now widely available? Is there a specific reason?

      1. Sue says:

        He said he’s fully vaccinated, HH

      2. Val says:

        the jab doesnt prevent COVID though

  17. RichSAAlao says:

    I am not buying Covid palava as excuse, I consider it a mind game.
    If seriously, there is truly such incidence, it still the obvious incompetence in the set up. How many of the other clubs are hit by Covid.
    It is not a case of Arteta being unlucky, rather it is a case of the ”way you lay your bed.”

    1. SueP says:

      Well Newcastle and ManU have had issues to name 2

  18. Marv says:

    When will Arteta consider a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation with Aubameyang and Lacazette upfront?

  19. Super maru says:

    Arsenal will surely prove the odds wrong i bet they will carry the day by thumping the star studded chelsea team hence football is always against any mathematical computations. FINAL SCORES: ARS 3 CHL 1

  20. Kenny says:

    “Poor old Mikel Arteta must feel like one of the unluckiest managers in the world right now.” — Arsenal fans must feel like one of the unluckiest fans in the world.

    1. Highbury Hero says:

      And Kroenke must feel like the unluckiest owner in the world.

    2. Logic says:

      I can bet my house on if Arteta gets the boat his support army will still blame luck and fans for being impatient. They will completely ignore the facts in form of results in front of them. While we keep slipping down the ladder these lot keep getting more stubborn in their support of Arteta the saviour.

  21. Diction Hagoi says:

    The league has just started ,i would rather lose the first three games and win the majority of the remaining thirty five and improve on last season’s performance. Arteta should use the players he has at his disposal properly and get the best out of them.

    Arteta has been very cautious in his approach it is high time he released the handbrake and let the boys express themselves.

  22. Prof.Wenger says:

    I hope MA has learned something from the previous loss. You can’t play Martinelli on the left side and expect him to create chances for Balogun. Instead, use Pepe on the left and Saka on right with ESR being behind the CF and Odegard close to him. I would rather play Lokonga as he is more dynamic than Xhaka and use Xhaka in the second half.

    I pray that our defence will be better this time, Chambers will be too slow so it’s worth trying someone else on that position.

  23. Logic says:

    Ok, let’s move on to next game shall we as we have already have excuses for this one. Soon we will be renamed to Excuses FC. Next week we will have few more.

  24. gunnerforlife says:

    My line up would be:
    Chambers White Holding
    Cedric ASL Xhaka Tierney
    Saka Martinelli Pepe
    The only negative thing is that ESR wont be able to play in this system, but with a 3-4-3 line up it not only contains the marauding Chelsea attackers but gives more freedom to Cedric and Tierney to go forward. Xhaka and ASL must ensure they protect the back 3.

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