Just when we thought the injuries were fading, they’re back with a vengeance.
Hector Bellerin’s knee ligament damage put a dampener on our win over Chelsea, and that defeat against Manchester United was compounded by knocks for Sokratis and Laurent Koscielny.
Losing three more defenders has stretched Unai Emery’s options to the limit. But our head coach is sanguine about these setbacks.
“It is normal,” he said. “When you play three matches during the week there is the possibility that you are going to take more injuries, a higher possibility than if you are only playing two matches. And we are having a lot of injuries, some big injuries, but not all are muscular. Some are breaks. Bellerin, Welbeck, Holding - they are different injuries.
“Against Man United, one was accidental from Lukaku on Koscielny and then the same with Sokratis. And I think it is because you have this risk when you are playing [many games].”
The good news is that Dinos Mavropanos is ready to take his chance at centre back, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been quietly impressive in Bellerin’s absence.
On Tuesday, three points is a priority. Zero injuries would be a welcome bonus.
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