Arsenal are without forwards Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott for the weekend Premier League fixture against West Bromwich Albion.
The Gunners have not won since the 2-0 home defeat of French club Montpellier in the Champions League, back in mid-November and will face Steve Clarke's Baggies after consecutive defeats to Swansea City and Olympiakos. And the visit of high-flying West Brom (fifth with 26 points) will be a real test of the Emirates club's character and resolve, so often praised by manager Arsene Wenger.
The German and French internationals, who have 17 goals between them, in all competitions, will definitely be a big miss for the club, as they look to resurrect, again, a flagging season. Arsenal are already faced with a must-win situation; a defeat to West Brom could potentially see them drop eight points behind in the race for the last Champions League qualifying position and slip out of the top ten in the league.
Wenger's injury worries also extend to French internationals Bacary Sagna and Laurent Koscielny. The defensive duo has foot and thigh injuries, respectively. Also unavailable is Brazilian wing back André Santos. The manager did confirm, however, that he expected both Santos and Podolski to recover soon.
Meanwhile, 29 year old Sagna spoke to the club's Web site, ahead of the West Brom game, and admitted the players needed to be sharper and more decisive on the pitch. Sagna is reportedly unhappy at the Emirates and is believed to be looking for a transfer at the end of the season, following disagreements over an extension to his contract, which expires in 2014.
"We just need to be wiser. We have had the opportunity to win games, and for some reason we don't. We need to work on it. We need to stay focused on the pitch [and] we need to work harder during training sessions. [If we do that] everything will be fine. I don't worry about it," the Frenchman explained.
Finally, Arsenal have qualified from Group B of the Champions League as runners-up to Bundesliga side Schalke 04. The Gunners will face one of Paris St Germain (PSG), Malaga, Borussia Dortmund, Juventus, Bayern Munich or Barcelona in the first knock-out round.