By DAN KARELL
The sweat must be dripping from Arsene Wenger’s brow as he worries in anticipation of a midweek English Premier League clash against West Ham.
Following a 120-minute performance from Wenger’s squad on Saturday afternoon, the Gunners usual strength in midfield has been decimated with almost everyone dealing with either injury or fatigue. At the moment, only Mikel Arteta and Kim Källström are fit to start, with a number of others to take fitness tests on Tuesday morning.
Wenger might even risk bringing back Laurent Koscielny early as he continues to gain fitness after suffering a calf injury two weeks ago.
“Who could be available who was not in the squad on Saturday?” Wenger told The Telegraph. “Maybe (Tomas) Rosicky, we’ll have to test him. Maybe Koscielny, we’ll have to test him. There are plenty of uncertainties. I have to make up my mind late on. The main uncertainties are (Ignacio) Monreal who had to come off.
“(Lukas) Podolski had a little problem but I think he will be all right, then (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain because he was not even supposed to play on Saturday. (Aaron) Ramsey who had to come off for muscle tightness. They are the main problems.”
Here are some more stories to start off your week:
ATLETICO MADRID DOWNPLAYS COSTA INJURY
Despite the very concerning reaction from Diego Costa after he hit his knee on the post en route to a sliding goal against Getafe on Sunday, his club is downplaying the severity of the injury.
The club announced on its Twitter page, “Luckily, Diego Costa only has a wound after hitting the post.”
Coach Diego Simeone told reporters after the match, “One more cut does not do anything to this tiger.”
Costa should be ready to play for next week’s Champions League semifinal against Chelsea, Simeone added.
OCHOA WOULD CONSIDER MOVE TO MARSEILLE
With AC Ajaccio on their way to being relegated from Ligue 1, speculation is rife over the future of Mexico national team goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa.
The 28-year-old goalkeeper is out of contract this summer and with reports that Steve Mandanda could be on his way out of Marseille, the French club could be looking to sign Ochoa as their new goalkeeper.
“My priority is to stay in France,” Ochoa told Canal Footbol Club on Sunday evening. “My agent will take care of it. Of course I’d want to go to Marseille, it’s a big team with big ambitions.”
When asked about potentially working under Marcelo Bielsa, Ochoa joked that he knows the Argentine boss well and it would be a lot of work, especially with his dry cleaning, referring to the dirty uniforms he’d have following training.
Real Madrid and the German national team have been given a boost with the return of Sami Khedira to full team training, just less than six months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament. (REPORT)
Hull City beat Sheffield United, 5-3, at Wembley Stadium to earn a first-ever trip to the FA Cup final on May 17 where they’ll face Arsenal. (REPORT)
AS Roma and Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman has promised to return from his ACL injury even stronger, and says he’ll contribute to Roma’s UEFA Champions League campaign next fall. (REPORT)
Bayern Munich defender Daniel Van Buyten is set to sign a one-year contract with FC Koln, which is expected to be promoted back to the Bundesliga for next season. (REPORT)
Fourth division side Ituano stunned Santos on penalty kicks to defeat the top-tier club and win the Campeonato Paulista, or Sao Paulo state championship. (REPORT)
What do you think of this news? Think Arsenal is up to the task this week? Think Diego Costa will be playing again soon?
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