Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not expect to have any of his injured contingent back available for his side's Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Chelsea on Wednesday (10 January) and revealed that midfielder Granit Xhaka and defender Shkodran Mustafi face tests ahead of his side's trip to Stamford Bridge.
Wenger has used the Carabao Cup to give his side's fringe players and youngsters game-time but is primed to use his senior stars after seeing his much-changed side fall to a dismal 4-2 defeat against Championship outfit Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
The Frenchman was keen to stress that the Gunners' injury woes proved to be a crucial factor during the humbling loss at the City Ground, and he revealed that the likes of Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Sead Kolasinac will once again have to make do with a watching brief against Chelsea and are also likely to miss the trip to Bournemouth on Sunday.
"We don't recover anybody unfortunately," Wenger said, per Arsenal's official website. "I believe that on Sunday we paid the price for having many injured players. Some needed to be rested but we also had five or six players injured. That's a bit detrimental to the rotation as well.
"For Wednesday, no. For Sunday [against Bournemouth], I don't think anybody will come back."
Xhaka and Mustafi were two of a host of Arsenal first-team stars that missed the loss to Forest on the weekend. The Switzerland and Germany internationals started the 2-2 draw with Chelsea last week but are now struggling with unspecified knocks ahead of the second in a run of three quick-fire meetings with the Premier League champions.
Wenger, who may have to serve up a makeshift defence against Chelsea, confirmed that Xhaka and Mustafi will undergo late fitness tests and did not exude confidence when discussing the duo's chances of starting in west London.
"He [Xhaka] has a test today. We'll see how he comes through that," Wenger said. "Mustafi will also have a test today. I don't know exactly how available they will be. I will know more after training."