Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has confirmed that the Gunners will be without at least two central defenders in the final of the Emirates FA cup against London rivals, Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
Speaking during the pre-match press conference, the Frenchman said that while Gabriel Paulista will be out for a while, German international, Shkodran Mustafi remains a doubt due to the fact he’s ‘still sick.’
“Gabriel is out for six-to-eight weeks,” Wenger said to Skysports.
“We had a scare about his cruciate, but it is only medial knee ligaments so positive is that he avoids surgery. But of course, he is out now until the beginning of August.
Commenting on Mustafi, Wenger, whose Arsenal side missed out on CL on the last day of the season, for the first time since he took over at the club, said; “We have some worries because he is still sick at the moment. He has not trained yet.
“This just shows you how unpredictable football can be. We played at home where your mind is on attacking, and it is a day when we lost two centre-backs.
“It’s unbelievable and unpredictable and we are hit hard in a position where we need to be strong on Saturday. We have to find solutions and hopefully I can find those solutions.
“I have to decide on Saturday [whether to change to back four] and we’ll test that in training until then,” he added.
Gabriel was picked up his injury in the Gunners’ last match of the premier league season against Everton at the Emirates Stadium, a game that also saw Laurent Koscielny sent off, with the French international expected to serve a three match for receiving a straight red card.
However, there was some positive news on the injury front as Wenger confirmed that English winger, Oxlade Chamberlain was available after returning to training.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is in contention because he is back in training,” he concluded.