Arsenal suffered a double injury blow during the build-up to their Champions League clash against Bayern Munich which they lost 5-1 on Wednesday night (4 November). Hector Bellerin was not named in the 18-man squad after the young Spaniard suffered a groin injury, while Laurent Koscielny had to be replaced with Gabriel in the starting XI after the Frenchman picked up a hip injury before the game at the Allianz Arena.
The defensive partnership of Per Mertesacker and Gabriel failed to contain the Bavarian giants who ran riot during the 90 minutes leaving the Premier League club's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition hanging by a thread. The Gunners now face a crucial clash in the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday (8 November) and could face the prospect of being without 10 first-team players, who are all out injured.
Bellerin and Koscielny have joined Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck, Aaron Ramsey, David Ospina, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott, who are all ruled out for the north London derby. This will be a big blow to Wenger, who is hoping his team can bounce back after their midweek disappointment and maintain their high level in the Premier League, which sees them level on points with leaders Manchester City.
Wenger, however, indicated that Koscielny could have a chance to return against Spurs, but ruled out the possibility of Bellerin recovering on time, leaving Mathieu Debuchy, who has been unimpressive this season, as the main choice on the right side of Arsenal's defence.
"We now have to focus on the Premier League on Sunday and bounce back with a different performance because we are in a good position in the league. It's important that we realise what we did today and we know that," Wenger said, as quoted on Arsenal's official site.
"Bellerin I don't think will be available for Sunday and Koscielny has a small chance. From tonight, we have no more injuries, apart from in their heads we have no more injuries," the French manager added, as quoted by Sky Sports.