Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will be without no fewer than seven first-team stars for tomorrow night's Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, with Olivier Giroud the latest key figure to be ruled out as he anxiously waits to find out the full extent of an ankle injury suffered at Goodison Park last weekend.
Giroud could be out for anywhere between a few weeks and three months depending on the damage suffered, with the French forward set to see a specialist tomorrow to discover the full extent of the problem.
The Gunners can't afford to mourn yet another injury blow though and must press on with their efforts to secure a place in the group stages for a 17th successive season, which could be led by either Joel Campbell or the returning Lukas Podolski.
Who will lead the line?
Wenger has a tough choice to make over who replaces Giroud in a central strike role, primarily because Yaya Sanogo has been struggling with a niggling thigh problem for the past 10 days.
Alexis Sanchez was tried through the middle against Everton on Saturday and the experiment didn't work, which means Campbell could finally get his first competitive start for Arsenal after an encouraging cameo from the bench against the Toffees.
Lukas Podolski is also in contention to feature for the first time this season, with Wenger quashing rumours that the German star will be sold before the transfer deadline slams shut.
Midfield absentees also a problem
Arsenal are definitely also without Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey through a combination of injury and suspension, which puts added pressure on Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere to improve vastly on sub-standard displays against Everton, if they keep their places.
Mesut Ozil, Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are competing for two places on the flanks, with Wenger unlikely to throw Podolski in at the deep end with a first start of the season in such a crucial clash.
Is Koscielny fit?
Wenger gave Laurent Koscielny a clean bill of health in his pre-match press conference for the clash, so expect a vital component of Arsenal's rearguard to earn a recall at the Emirates tomorrow night.
It's still unclear who will partner Koscielny in central defence, with Per Mertesacker clearly far from fully fit in his return against Everton last weekend.
£16m starlet Calum Chambers has featured in every competitive match for Arsenal this season and could well stay put alongside the returning Koscielny, with Mertesacker's long-term fitness just one gamble Wenger will have to seriously consider over the next 24 hours.
Arsenal predicted XI to face Besiktas: Szczesny, Monreal, Chambers, Koscielny, Debuchy, Flamini, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Sanchez, Campbell
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