Arsene Wenger has confirmed that he still has seven definite Arsenal injuries ahead of the Newcastle match.
The Arsenal boss has confirmed that Saturday will be too soon for Alexis Sanchez, who continues to recover from the injury picked up at Carrow Road towards the end of November.
On the other hand, Wenger says that of the Arsenal injuries, Mathieu Flamini does have a chance of lining up against Newcastle.
Though on the other hand, at least the Arsenal boss was relieved to have not picked up more injury problems, saying ‘Everyone who was in the squad against Bournemouth should be available for Newcastle’.
Despite Leicester grabbing a hard fought point last night against Manchester City, the Gunners remain at the top of the table on goal difference ahead of the Foxes.
You have to grudgingly give Arsene Wenger credit for the job he’s done with the team this season when you see the quality amongst the players who are currently ruled out:
Mathieu Flamini (possible return)
Alexis Sanchez (hamstring)
Francis Coquelin (knee)
Santi Cazorla (knee)
Mikel Arteta (calf)
Danny Welbeck (knee)
Jack Wilshere (ankle)
Tomas Rosicky (knee)
Whereas Newcastle picked up two defeats, Arsenal have had contrasting fortunes in their two festive games so far – winning 2-0 at home to Bournemouth on Monday, only 48 hours after a crushing 4-0 demolition job at Southampton.
Steve McClaren bizarrely named exactly the same eleven players (Elliot then feeling ill and replaced last minute by Darlow) for the game at West Brom, despite such a tough game against Everton and so little recovery time.
However, Arsene Wenger sees it totally differently and made four changes to his team between Saturday and Monday.
The Arsenal manager saying today that he will continue to rotate his team selection when it comes to the Newcastle match, to get the most from his squad and protect against injuries in this busy festive round of matches.