Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has updated on the fitness of three first-team players ahead of Thursday night’s Premier League outing at Crystal Palace. The Gunners have had a poor month of December, where they have attained just a solitary league win but they can still turn their fortunes around with two games left prior to the New Year.
Speaking in his pre-match press-conference, Wenger confirmed that the Gunners will have to cope without Nacho Monreal, Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, the former who sustained an ankle problem during the 3-3 draw versus Liverpool last Friday. “Nacho Monreal is out of course because he got injured [against Liverpool], Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are out as well and that’s basically it,” he is quoted as saying on the club’s official website.
Meanwhile, when asked to give an extended explanation on their suitable return dates, Wenger revealed that Ramsey should return by the turn of the year, whilst both Monreal and Giroud could return to the mix just prior to the League Cup semi-final versus Chelsea, which starts with an away leg at Stamford Bridge.
Injuries have not significantly hampered the Gunners as in previous seasons, but Ramsey, in particular, remains a huge miss owing to his ability to make tireless runs into the box. Without the Welshman, the Gunners appeared to lack the intensity moving forward against West Ham United and Newcastle United, but they found their mojo versus Liverpool, though it was partially aided by the showing of Reds shot-stopper Simon Mignolet.
Arsene Wenger’s side are currently 21 points behind leaders Manchester City at the top of the table, and a win for the Citizens on Wednesday night would increase the lead even further. As a result, their focus is likely to be on the Champions League spots, where they could close down the gap to Liverpool to a solitary point with a victory at Selhurst Park.
Image – Getty