Arsenal star to miss City game and 'serious doubt' for FA Cup semi-final - report

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny is at risk of missing the FA Cup semi-final.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny faces a race against time to be fit for the FA Cup semi-final.

The Guardian report that the French international is a 'serious doubt' for the match against Wigan Athletic at Wembley.

"The club's medical staff expect him to sit out the next fortnight at least, leaving his hopes of playing at Wembley in the balance."

The report adds he is... "Out of the Premier League games against Swansea, Manchester City and Everton and rendering him a serious doubt for the FA Cup semi-final against Wigan Athletic on 12 April."

Koscielny was substituted at half-time against Chelsea with a calf problem, and it is this which is causing him to miss the upcoming games at a crucial stage of the season.

The centre-back has been immense all season long for Arsenal, with Manchester City defender Micah Richards claiming via Twitter after the win over Spurs that Koscielny is the best centre-back in the Premier league at present.

Koscielny's upcoming absence against Manchester City is a big worry, with Manuel Pellegrini's freescoring side scoring six goals past the Gunners in their last clash.

It means Arsenal will have to rely on captain Thomas Vermaelen to prove his worth, and it's likely to be an opportunity the Belgian will relish.

This is exactly why Arsenal were reluctant to let him depart in January, but the club's failure to add a fourth centre-back last summer now places them in a tricky position should further injury strike.

The next man up would be Bacary Sagna moving across from full-back to centre-back, and after that the options look increasingly desperate.

The phrase about football being a squad game nowadays is likely to be put to the ultimate test over the coming weeks, and after last weekend's 6-0 drubbing by Chelsea, some Arsenal fans may simply hope it does not end in humiliation.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch