Key Arsenal duo in doubt for Southampton clash – report

Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs are the latest Arsenal stars to pick up knocks.

Arsenal defenders Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs are doubts ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Southampton after picking up knocks in the victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The Gunners have endured somewhat of an injury crisis this season as a host of first-team stars have spent time during the current campaign in the treatment room.

Arguably the area affected the most is in defence as Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs, Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny have all been side-lined over the past 12 weeks with injuries.

The situation has forced boss Arsene Wenger to shuffle his pack on more than one occasion, even prompting him to play Spanish fullback Monreal in an unorthodox centre-back role.

Finally, in what must feel like an eternity for Wenger, the back four against the Baggies on Saturday included his ideal centre-back pairing and resembled something of a first-choice backline.

Such relief, however, could be short-lived as according to the Mirror both Monreal and his weekend replacement Gibbs are doubts for the clash against the Saints on Wednesday.

“Arsene Wenger could be without both left backs as Arsenal’s injury crisis deepened even further. Kieran Gibbs suffered a hip injury and Nacho Monreal took a knock to his knee in the win over West Brom on Saturday, which leaves them both doubtful for Wednesday’s game with Southampton,” the report claims.

Should the defenders not make it in time for the midweek match at the Emirates then Wenger will be left without a natural left-back and could turn to young Spanish right-back Hector Bellerin.

The 19-year-old won his first start for the North Londoners this season and made his Champions League debut in the 2-0 away defeat at Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund in September.

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