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Injury woes for Arsenal ahead of London derby

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 29:  Arsene Wenger, Manager of Arsenal looks on prior to the Premier League match between Sunderland and Arsenal at the Stadium of Light on October 29, 2016 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Modified 03 Nov 2016, 20:47 IST

London, Nov 3 (IANS) Arsenal players Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Nacho Monreal and Kieran Gibbs are doubtful for Sunday's match against Tottenham Hotspur, the North London football club's manager Arsene Wenger has said.

Defender Hector Bellerin though should be fit for the marquee tie. The young Spanish right-back has been in top form for Arsenal this season and has made some sensational challenges to prevent goal from being conceded. The right-back’s performance has been so good that he’s being linked with a move to Barcelona and Manchester City in the near future.

Both Luis Enrique and Pep Guardiola have been in the hunt for a right back and have set their sights on the Arsenal man. Sergio Roberto is actually a midfielder but is being forced to play as a right back because Vidal has not managed to impress Luis Enrique ever since his move from Sevilla last summer. Sagna and Zabaleta are coming to the end of their contracts at the Manchester City and that means Pep has to find a new right-back.

All four players, apart from Gibbs, were left at home for Tuesday's Champions League trip to Ludogorets Razgrad, although Wenger said Bellerin was mainly rested as a precaution.

"I left him behind because I was cautious with him. I could have basically forced the issue, he could have played maybe in Bulgaria," Wenger told a news conference. "But he should be all right," Wenger was quoted by ESPN.

However, Walcott, Cazorla and Monreal were all due to face fitness tests ahead of Sunday's derby. Walcott has bene in fine form this season for the Gunners and will be someone whom the Arsenal fans would desperately want in the XI to face arch-rivals, Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

"The closest to coming back looks to be Walcott," Wenger said.

Gibbs is also a doubtful starter after hurting his shoulder against Ludogorets, meaning Wenger could potentially be without both his left-backs for the game.



Published 03 Nov 2016, 17:43 IST
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