Arsenal must pray their currently injury crisis does not scupper their chances of winning the Premier League title once again.
The Gunners are currently without Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, amongst others, in what could become yet another season scuppered by factors off the field.
Every year Arsene Wenger’s side are haunted by an injury curse and unless things change soon, it could be a curse that sees them miss out on the league title for the 12th year in succession.
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Injury track record
For years, Arsenal have competed admirably for the country’s biggest prize, only to be pipped by the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea.
Injuries, though regular at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, strike hardest in North London with history suggesting it could yet happen again.
In 2008, the Gunners occupied the summit of the league table – ahead of a United side boasting Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes – but an injury to forward Eduardo in February ultimately derailed their chances of success.
It was a similar story in 2010 where a horrendous injury to Welshman Aaron Ramsey away at Stoke City had a knock-on effect on the members of the first team squad, with the Londoners slumping to fourth and 12 points adrift of the Red Devils.
With City sparkling and United and Leicester City all within touching distance, Arsenal cannot afford any more injuries with their current situation still not guaranteed to force Wenger into spending in January.
Despite Olivier Giroud and Walcott carrying the mantle, Arsenal have missed the pace and potency of Welbeck, who will be aiming to build on a respectable first season at the Emirates.
The ex-United forward, who was allowed to join the Gunners following the Red Devils’ capture of Radamel Falcao, scored the winner against his former employers at Old Trafford with a goal that endeared him to supporters.
Walcott’s season started slowly, but the injury to Welbeck has allowed him to blossom into a striker made in a similar mould to Thierry Henry.
He has four goals in nine appearances for the Londoners so far this season and was named as the supporters’ Player of the Month in September after scoring against Leicester, Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiakos.
Meanwhile, the Gunners’ hopes of glory will be further enhanced after the busy festive period with Tomas Rosicky set to return after missing the first half of the season with a knee injury.
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