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Arsenal Facing A Defensive Crisis Ahead Of Next Week’s FA Cup Final

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal celebrates scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Southampton at Emirates Stadium on September 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Arsenal could be without as many as three senior central defenders for next weekend’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.

The Gunners will be looking to put their Premier League disappointment behind them as they aim to end the season with some silverware (and stop Chelsea’s quest for a league and cup double in the process), but Sunday’s 3-1 win against Everton may, according to BBC Sport reporter David Ornstein, have deprived them of two more defenders.

With Shkodran Mustafi potentially out with concussion, and Gabriel stretchered off on Sunday, it makes Laurent Koscielny’s actions look even more reckless. The Arsenal vice-captain was sent off for a wild lunge on Everton’s Enner Valencia after just fifteen minutes, leaving Arsene Wenger with an even bigger selection headache.

In his old 4-2-3-1 system, it would have been less of a problem as the manager could simply start with Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding in the centre (not ideal, by any means, by competent nonetheless). However, Wenger seems all aboard the 3-4-3 train right now so a large gap in that defence has emerged.

Calum Chambers is a non-starter, as even if he could be recalled from Middlesbrough he would be unavailable from being cup tied. In the event that Mustafi and Gabriel are both ruled out, therefore, it would seem likely that Nacho Monreal would operate in the three-man defence with Kieran Gibbs at left wing-back.

With a final decision on Wenger’s future to be decided after the Wembley showdown, a defensive crisis is the last thing that the Arsenal boss needs.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.