Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny will miss Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea after being sent off 14 minutes into Sunday’s 3-1 win over Everton. The French international was given a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Enner Valencia, meaning manager Arsene Wenger will have a selection headache for the forthcoming clash at Wembley.
Koscielny’s absence will be a big disappointment for Wenger as he was already an injury doubt ahead of the Everton clash. The Arsenal boss was keen to give his centre-back game time to ready him for an intense cup final to come, but now the Londoners will have a makeshift backline to take to Wembley against the Premier League champions.
To make matters worse, Gabriel Paulista went off injured in the game and is now also likely to miss Saturday’s clash, meaning Arsenal will be without two centre-backs for the Chelsea fixture. They’ve enjoyed a real turnaround in form since changing to a 3-4-2-1 formation, but will be weaker for losing their campaign and Gabriel.
“Gabriel’s injury looks quite serious, especially for next Saturday. We lost two centre-backs and that is a big blow. It looked spectacular (Koscielny’s sending off), but when you watch it again it looks harsh. What could we do?” said Wenger, as reported by the Metro.
Shkodran Mustafi, Rob Holding and Nacho Monreal could well make up the defence on Saturday, Per Mertesacker made his return to the side in the Everton game but isn’t likely to be fit enough .Arsenal are 7/2 to win against Chelsea in normal time in the FA Cup final.