In his press conference ahead of Arsenal’s critical match with Swansea, Arsene Wenger has revealed the latest team news ahead of the Premier League encounter.
Arsenal are looking for a return to the form that saw them rise to the league summit earlier in the season, after suffering a disheartening defeat at Old Trafford. Wenger announced that there are one or two issues with ‘muscular tightness’, but nobody that played in the 3-2 defeat is a doubt for tomorrow.
The most worrying news from the conference is that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks.
The midfielder suffered a knee injury following a high-speed collision with Javier Mascherano during the 2-0 defeat against Barcelona. The determined forward tried to complete the game, but was brought off shortly after the halftime restart; leaving the Emirates Stadium on crutches.
“He will be out for six to eight weeks but he won’t need surgery,” the Gunners boss remarked, trying to remain upbeat about the situation.
It’s yet another blow for the England international who now faces a race against time to be fit for Euro 2016.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will now sit on the sidelines for the majority of the Premier League title run-in as Arsenal look to overtake bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur and underdogs Leicester City. The unlucky winger will hope to have regained full fitness in time to be selected as part of Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 England squad.
After beginning the season in good form and scoring the winning goal in the Community Shield win over Chelsea, the 22-year-old has struggled with once again with consistency; a problem throughout his professional career.
The former Southampton starlet has made 32 appearances for the Gunners across all competitions but has only managed one goal – in last month’s victory over Bournemouth.
Wenger also hinted he’d be making some changes to the team ahead of the Swansea game, hinting that Danny Welbeck could spend some time on the bench, as he’s concerned about overplaying him following a long injury absence.
This paves the way for Olivier Giroud ahead of Theo Walcott – about whom the Arsenal manager refused to discuss – and possibly Joel Campbell on the right hand side.