Football

Injuries cause Wenger concern

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is yet to decide how to shuffle his squad to deal with the latest injury blow ahead of Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.

The Gunners head into the clash against Chelsea at Wembley with goalkeeper Manuel Almunia out with an ankle injury and Gael Clichy (back), William Gallas (knee) and Johan Djourou (knee) joining him on the sidelines. Bacary Sagna is struggling with illness and Kieran Gibbs is a concern with a groin problem picked up against Villarreal on Wednesday.

"We still have Sagna as a doubt for the weekend," said Wenger. "And after Villarreal we have Kieran Gibbs as a doubt too. He has a little groin problem. Clichy, Almunia and Djourou are still out."

Lucasz Fabianski will deputise in goal, but who plays at left-back instead of Clichy and Gibbs is less straight-forward.

"There is the option to play Sagna in there if he has recovered," Wenger said on Arsenal TV Online. "The other is to play (Mikael) Silvestre there and put (Alex) Song at the back.

"There's not many options but we'll deal with the situation no matter what happens.

"I am happy to take 48 hours more so I can assess the (injury) situation. Also it means I can look back at how I rotated before and as well, how we can keep the balance right considering the opponent.

"We have to rotate a little bit because we play every three days now and only the squad can achieve what we want to achieve."

Almunia and Djourou are a fortnight away from action, while Clichy needs two and a half weeks of rest. It means they are all doubts for the first leg of the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United.

The good news for Wenger is Andrey Arshavin and Eduardo being available for Wembley.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Andrey Arshavin
European News
Kieran Gibbs
Football
Johan Djourou
Chelsea
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
Alex
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Bacary Sagna
Gael Clichy
FA Cup
William Gallas
Eduardo

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