Injury crisis grows for Arsenal ahead of FA Cup final with Chelsea

Arsenal lost two players during the weekend’s win over Everton, and a third defender is now a strong doubt for the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

The Gunners beat Everton 2-1 yesterday in the final Premier League fixture of the season, but that win was not enough to seal a place in the top four, and will now have to settle for Europa League competition next term.

That win has come at a cost however, with Laurent Koscielny banned for the upcoming final, and now have doubts over fellow defenders Shkodran Mustafi and Gabriel Paulista.

Arsene Wenger revealed after the Everton win that Gabriel was unlikely to feature next weekend, and the German international has now being reported as concussed by BBC’s Sport journalist David Ornstein, and may also fail to feature.

That leaves us with limited options for the three central roles, and may force us to play Nacho Monreal and Rob Holding with one of Francis Coquelin, Mathieu Debuchy, Krystian Bielik or Per Mertesacker. The German will be the obvious choice, due to it being his natural position, but he has been injured almost all season, and made his first appearance of the campaign in yesterday’s match-up, when there was no chance of making the top four.

Antonio Conte’s side will have been confident of breaking down our defence at full-strength, and will be licking their lips with the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Willian, Pedro, Michy Batshuayi and Cesc Fabregas available to lead the attack against us on Saturday.

Rob Holding will be key in our defence regardless of which players line up alongside him, and my faith in him is strong, but Mertesacker may well be able to use his experience to help Holding in such a big game.

Can a back three of Holding, Mertesacker and Monreal stop Chelsea from running riot?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Chelsea FA Cup Gabriel Koscielny Mustafi


    1. We cant lose.
      We win… It’s a trophy!
      We lose… As it’s a London Derby aswell an with the season we have had it will put tremendous pressure on the board to give wenger large cash and ask him to invest heavily or he may consider leaving.

      He said we are one or two players short… An he says that every failing year… Its amazing

      Say what u want but coming fifth an bayern destroying us has helped us in the long run

    2. 3 at the back suits Mertesacker perfectly and barring Mustafi’s return to fitness, he should start. Place him in the centre and he’ll cut out crosses and will keep Costa marshalled for 120 mins. On either side of a back 3, he becomes a liability if he has to step in to cover a wing back. The other options Debuchy, Bielik, or Coquelin are unfit, inexperienced at that level or unsuited for the role.

  1. This is why we need 7 centrebacks

    Chelsea have tall fast and strong players and they defend hard with 11 players back

    Theres no way we can score against them

    1. He’s a doubt.

      An apparently he was spotted grabbing learn German book from Finchley library..coincidence?
      (too early for that joke? Sorry)

  2. So let’s take a look at this objectively. Wenger dithered on his summer transfers and as a result rested Kos and played Holding and Chambers in the first game against Liverpool. Liverpool beat Arsenal to 4th and won a game that they should otherwise not have won.

    So to save a few quid by dragging out the transfers he ended up surrendering CL qualification which costs a lot more than whatever pennies he saved.

    Wenger’s logic looks more and more poor the more it gets analysed.

    1. I remember he argued that Mustafi was not fit and would not have started the Liverpool game had he been bought on time. I knew this to be a lie then because Valencia had him on a pre season friendly team sheet before dropping him. Wenger faffed about to save £7m on the £42m asking price. Group stage CL money is £25m compared to around £17m for winning the Europa league so well done AW, well done. Toss his £8m a year into the mix just to reflect on the cost saving irony…

  3. If the Manager (Arsene Wenger) did his job properly, he would have rested key players for the FA cup final, Instead he gambled.

    #FA cup or not Wenger and Stan out!!!

  4. I think Wenger having a laugh saying we need only one or two new players. We need at least five, as for the injury crisis at the back, i go for bellerin. Monreal and mersacker, with ox and Gibbs as wing backs, Chelsea week link is Luiz a loose cannon and victor Moses a striker in a wing back, get at them we have a chance and play Theo Walcott instead of giroud

    1. Ox is injured…

      *Mustafi in for BFG if fit.

    2. Wenger will play this team against Chelsea.
      Holding Mertesaker Monreal
      Ox Ramsey Xhaka Gibbs
      Ozil Alexis/Theo


  5. If Wenger fields Mertasacker, we shall be decimated by Chelsea. But believe Wenger in typical style of favouring mediocre players would certainly field Mertasacker. Then when we get massacred he would turn around and blame us the fans for his failures! Wenger, Kreonke out! FA Cup or not

  6. Except chelsea come out playing like they are still basking in the EPL triumph merriment – I don’t think arsenal has a chance against them presently.

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