Cazorla and Giroud injuries deepen Arsenal squad concerns

With the Gunners travelling to take on Marseille in France on Wednesday, the unavailability of two key attackers leaves the side thin on options.

Arsenal continued their winning streak with a 3-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday, taking the north London club to the top of the fledgling Premier League table.

The Emirates Stadium outfit start their Champions League campaign on Wednesday night, travelling to take on Marseille at the Stade Velodrome in a potentially tricky fixture.

However, despite Mesut Ozil making his debut for the club at the Stadium of Light and providing an asset for the Gunners’ opener, injury concerns have arisen at the club once more.

Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Santi Cazorla has picked up an ankle injury and as such will be out for a couple of weeks. Add to this the fact that the in-form Olivier Giroud has also sustained a knee injury, and Arsenal’s attacking options are relatively limited.

"Mesut was like the team, he had an outstanding first-half and dropped physically in the second,” the French manager stated after the win over Sunderland.

"He was sick on Thursday night and I only decided this morning to play him because he had a stomach bug.

"His first-half performance was outstanding but if Santi Cazorla had been fit, Ozil would have been on the bench as he was sick and I wouldn't have taken a gamble otherwise.

"Cazorla's ankle problem means he will be out for a few weeks. I don't think he will play before the next international break. Giroud has a knee injury and we are very thin now."

Despite the immense ability of Cazorla, Ozil’s inclusion means that the Gunners shouldn’t miss the Spaniard too much in France. It is Giroud’s injury, with the extent of which yet to be revealed, that leaves the north Londoners thin on the ground.

It is a real blow for the player himself, who has started to really live up to his billing. The former Montpellier man has four goals in four Premier League games and also netted in the away clash against Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualifying round.

A knock has the ability to slow the forward’s momentum and will be a cause for concern for Wenger. If Giroud is unable to play in midweek it leaves Arsenal very light up front, with untried and unsuccessful replacements for the French manager to evaluate.

With Napoli and Borussia Dortmund also in the Gunners’ group, the side will hope for a positive result in France to get their tough pool off to a good start.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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