Arsene Wenger has ruled Aaron Ramsey and Laurent Koscielny out of Sunday's crucial Premier League clash against Liverpool.
The game is still six days away but the Arsenal boss is already certain that neither the midfielder or the centre-back will be fit to face Brendan Rodgers' men at Anfield. It is a significant blow for Arsenal, who are looking to build on their 4-1 win against Newcastle United.
Ramsey looks set for a spell on the sideline after injuring a troublesome hamstring whilst scoring a wonder goal against Galatasaray last week. He was taken off at halftime as a precaution, but scans later revealed damage that looks set to rule him out of Christmas period.
Koscielny is still struggling with a calf injury but it is believed his chronic Achilles problems are still causing Arsenal physios some concern. Both are expected to be out beyond Christmas.
"Ramsey will be out for a few weeks and Koscielny as well," Wenger told reporters. "They will not be back next week."
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As a result, Mathieu Debuchy looks set to continue his role at centre-back after impressing against his former club while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain may stay in central midfield.
Liverpool could use all the help they can get at the moment and will be given a significant boost by the absence of two key Arsenal stars. Rodgers is under pressure to win after losing emphatically to Manchester United on Sunday.
The Reds were stopped by an inspirational David de Gea as Louis van Gaal's men sealed their sixth successive victory with a 3-0 win. A loss against Arsenal will cut them further adrift from the top four.