Arsenal travels across the city to face champion Chelsea on Sunday in a highly anticipating Premier League encounter. However, manager Arsene Wenger would surely miss a number of first team players who are currently in the treatment room.
Arsenal’s injury problem begins right from the goalkeeping position as first choice keeper Manuel Almunia has been sidelined after picking up an injury while saving a penalty in 2-3 loss to West Bromwich Albion last week. However, Wenger’s worry would be subsided by Lukasz Fabianski’s excellent performance in Arsenal’s Champions League win over Partizan Belgrade in the midweek.
Captain Cesc Fabregas would also be missing the trip to Chelsea as the playmaker is currently recovering from a hamstring injury sustained during 1-1 home draw against Sunderland. Center back Thomas Vermaelen is another injury casualty, while Kieran Gibbs, who featured against Partizan, has been sidelined with a calf injury.
Up front Wenger has to do it with Marouane Chamakh and Carlos Vela as the likes of Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Nicklas Bendtner will remain sidelined. Summer signing Chamakh, who has settled in Arsenal pretty quickly, is the most likely starter at Stamford Bridge.
Except last week’s loss at Manchester City, Chelsea has been in high flying form so far this season, leading the point table with 15 points from 6 games. The most worrying factor for Wenger could be Chelsea’s scoring form as the Blues found the back of the net 21 times in 6 matches. Didier Drogba, who was last season’s top scorer, has always been a threat for Arsenal as the Ivorian bagged 12 goals in his 10 meetings with Arsenal.
From this point of view, missing Vermaelen could be divisive for the Gunners. New signing Laurent Koscielny may have won some reliability, but Sebastien Squillaci is yet to show his best since his summer move from Sevilla.