Arsenal face an anxious wait to discover whether Laurent Koscielny will remain on the club's extensive injury list for the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. The France international missed the Champions League thrashing by Bayern Munich with a hip problem and faces a fitness test on the eve of the game to determine his fitness for the clash at the Emirates Stadium.
The absence of Koscielny could see the Gunners without 10 first team players for the visit of Spurs amid an injury crisis that sees manager Arsene Wenger hopelessly short of options in key areas. Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Hector Bellerin, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, David Ospina, Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey have already been ruled out with various maladies.
"Koscielny may be back but Bellerin is ruled out already," the Arsenal boss told a press conference, according to The Mirror. "From one competition to the other. I believe in the Premier League we have a strong confidence and we want to reproduce it on Sunday against Tottenham. I'm very concerned [about the injuries] because we are only in November and we have so many players out. We go into the Christmas period and I am concerned because we have too many players out. I give Koscielny 80% [chance of playing]. He will have a test tomorrow."
Despite the injury crisis, Arsenal are joint leaders in the Premier League table after 11 matches and will look to keep pace with Manchester City ahead of the international break. Key to the club's title challenge has been the form of goalkeeper Petr Cech – the only signing made by Wenger during the summer – who will play in his first north London derby this weekend. The French boss says it is no surprise Cech's arrival has coincided with greater consistency.
"I believe there is no coincidence," he said of the Arsenal stopper. "It's just class, consistency and quality. And knowing him well after a few months I am not surprised. He analyses everything. He is gifted, super-talented and he is one of the greatest goalkeepers ever seen in this country. He plays in a position where age is less of a restriction than in any other job. I think 37 or 38. Some go longer but once you start to have a 'four' the intensity is more difficult. Van der Sar was close to 40 and still doing well."