Arsenal will again be without midfielder Aaron Ramsey for the Premier League trip to Everton, with the Wales international set to miss a second game in succession with a hamstring problem. The 25-year-old had played in the club's nine matches before missing the win over Stoke City and is now set for a new spell out of the team.
Ramsey missed 13 games earlier in the campaign due to a similar hamstring complaint suffered in the opening day loss to Liverpool, but appeared in rude health after playing 70 minutes of the Champions League against Basel last week. However, he was absent for the visit of Mark Hughes' Potters and is now a doubt for the festive period.
The former Cardiff City youngster joins an injury list added to by defender Shkodran Mustafi, who suffered a hamstring problem of his own in the 2-1 win over Stoke. Danny Welbeck, Santi Cazorla and Per Mertesacker are among those on the eight-man knock roster, which comes as Arsenal face the prospect of five matches in 22 days.
"We have lost Mustafi from the game against Stoke," Arsenal boss Wenger told reporters. "I don't change my mind on what I said, about 21 days. I think all the other players will be available. Ramsey is not ready and the other players are still out. It is a challenge [to replace Mustafi] because we had good defensive stability.
"We have Gabriel; we have [Rob] Holding coming in from him. We are confident that both can do well. That is one of the tests we have but we have had many tests since the start of the season. Players like Cazorla and down the team we have had to deal with it and that is another challenge."
Victory over Stoke saw Arsenal extend their unbeaten run in the Premier League to 14 games, with the use of sports psychologist Dr Ceri Evans – who helped New Zealand win the 2015 Rugby World Cup – seen as playing a vital role. But Wenger believes it is the quality of his squad rather than any outside help that is leading to the recent run.
"It's down to the players, it's as simple as that," he added. "It's nothing to do with psychology, it's to do with how the players play on the football pitch. The strong mentality of the players is first down to having more maturity in the squad. The players have played for many years. In the recent history we haven't lost and that creates belief in the squad."