Whilst Newcastle are doing relatively ok with them, the Arsenal injuries are mounting up.
Danny Welbeck (pictured above last season at St James Park) will definitely miss Saturday’s match as he continues his recovery from a knee injury and is expected back in mid-September after the international break.
Whilst Jack Wilshere, who is recovering after a hairline fracture to the fibula, will be back later in September.
Meanwhile midfielder Tomas Rosicky could be out for up to four months after he also picked up a knee injury earlier in early August.
Probably even better from a Newcastle perspective is that Arsene Wenger still has no positive news on his two first choice centre-backs, with Aleksanadar Mitrovic champing at the bit to make his first start at St James Park this weekend.
Wenger said on Wednesday that Mertesacker was ill and that Koscielny was suffering with a back problem, the pair both missing the goalless draw with Liverpool on Monday night.
However, on Thursday, the Arsenal manager reported no improvement in the pair, seemingly all but ruling out Mertesacker playing any part and as for Koscielny, Wenger says they are considering a test on his back injury and it wouldn’t be until Friday before he had any idea if the defender has any chance of being involved against Newcastle.
Paulista has had only a handful of games for Arsenal and played as part of a makeshift pairing with the inexperienced Calum Chambers on Monday, the pair massively grateful to Petr Cech for almost single-handedly earning the point from the match.
Mertesacker and Koscielny have formed a great partnership and are taller and more battle-hardened to go up against somebody like Aleksandar Mitrovic, a striker who scored over half of his goals with his head for Anderlecht and who easily beat Chris Smalling in the air, when he hit the bar from the only decent cross put in against Manchester United.
“Mertesacker is still sick and we will know more about Koscielny today, he might have a test on his back today and I will certainly know more tomorrow (Friday) morning.
“The less likely to be fit is Mertesacker – I would like them to be available but that is part of the season, you can’t complain about that.
“Jack Wilshere is also on his way back to fitness after he suffered a hairline fracture to his fibula. Danny Welbeck is progressing well and he should be available, if all goes well, after the international break. Jack Wilshere is just behind Welbeck, maybe one week after the international break he will certainly come back into full training.”