Arsenal will be without the services of Mesut Özil against Chelsea in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup , with the midfielder missing out due to an unspecified injury. The German joins Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud on the sidelines for Stamford Bridge
The Guardian reports that the Gunners will include Konstantinos Mavropanos among his substitutes for the game despite Arsene Wenger stating that he expects the 20-year-old to go on loan. The Greek defender signed from PAS Giannina in the first week of January marking the start of what is likely to be a busy transfer period for the Gunners.
David Ospina is also expected to start ahead of Petr Cech, with the goalkeeper being a mainstay in cup games this season. The Colombian has featured regularly in the Europa League and the League Cup and held his position between the sticks in their disappointing 4-2 loss to Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup. Granit Xhaka is also expected to feature after returning to full training following a tight groin.
The north London club may see a host of departures in January, with Francis Coquelin likely to make his way out to Valencia. The manager confirmed that there have been talks over his transfer but nothing has been finalised thus far. The report states that the midfielder is unlikely to feature in the semi-final to facilitate his departure.
Meanwhile, there are question marks over the future of Alexis Sanchez and Ozil, with both players entering the final six months of their contract at the Emirates. Sanchez is expected to feature against Chelsea, despite talk of an imminent January transfer for the Chilean to Manchester City, who have rekindled their interest in the forward after failing to sign him last summer.
The Citizens were hoping to get the deal done for a free in the summer but a knee ligament injury to Gabriel Jesus, which will keep him out for up to two months, has forced Pep Guardiola to bring forward the transfer.
The former Barcelona manager is pushing for the quadruple this season following a narrow 2-1 win over Bristol City in the first leg of the semis of the Carabao Cup and believes having Sanchez will help alleviate the pressure from his squad, which has been running on empty after an extremely busy period.
Arsenal are set to rekindle their interest in Thomas Lemar to replace the 29-year-old. The Gunners have been boosted by the words of Monaco manager, Leonardo Jardim, who said earlier this week the 22-year-old could be on his way this month, The Gunners are also keeping a close eye on Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez and Cristian Pavón of Boca Juniors.
"We are not used to selling in the winter," Jardim said. "But the transfer window lasts until the end of the month and many things can happen."