Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has returned to Arsenal after suffering a thigh injury whilst on international duty with France. The forward sustained the injury in his nation’s win over Wales on Friday evening, which gives Arsene Wenger yet another headache ahead of the return of the Premier League.
Arsenal are teetering on the edge of a disaster this Premier League campaign after falling to defeat against Manchester City last Sunday. Despite the fact that losing to the leaders is no embarrassment, it was a must-win game for the London side as they are now 12 points off the top.
Their punishment was compounded as the teams around them picked up points, with Arsenal now three points short of fourth-placed Chelsea, while they have slipped to sixth in the league following Liverpool’s win.
Their game against Tottenham on Saturday has become a defining point in their season then. A loss would likely see them lose even more ground on City at the top and those around them, meaning that a top-four finish will become even more unlikely.
However, a win over Tottenham would show that Arsenal are still a force. Wenger will likely have to plan for the game without Giroud after his injury then, but this will have fans expecting to see Alexandre Lacazette start in the London derby.
Lacazette was a substitute in Arsenal’s loss to City, but came on and scored their goal. His performance had fans questioning why he was not included from the start the game, and injury to Giroud along with their must-win situation means that the Frenchman must start, with last weeks makeshift striker in Alexis Sanchez moved back out to the wing.