Arsene Wenger has been dealt a new injury blow ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League round of 16 second-leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night following the news that full-back Kieran Gibbs and striker Yaya Sanogo have been ruled out of the game, reports the Express.
Injury-prone Gibbs, 24, often struggles for fitness and has failed to recover from an ankle complaint in time to be considered, with marginalised club captain Thomas Vermaelen likely to be handed a starting berth in the left-back’s absence.
Meanwhile, Sanogo, who produced an accomplished display in the first-leg despite his lack of experience at elite level, is also out of contention. First-choice striker Olivier Giroud was rested for the majority of Saturday’s 4-1 FA Cup victory over Everton, although he netted two goals late on, and is expected to start.
However, the lack of another attacking option from the bench in the form of Sanogo is undoubtedly a blow for Wenger. The Gunners boss now has an extensive injury list to deal with as he is already without suspended goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and Jack Wilshere, who broke his foot while on international duty with England last week.
One positive to emerge from the north London camp is that central defender Laurent Koscielny is in contention to feature having sufficiently recovered from a hamstring complaint.
With a two goal deficit to overturn, Arsenal need to have their best players on the pitch if they are to halt the Bayern Munich juggernaut and progress to the quarter-finals, which now looks increasingly unlikely due to the sting of injury setbacks that has ravaged Wenger’s squad.Published 11 Mar 2014, 16:30 IST