Arsenal v Cardiff City: Injury crisis for Arsene Wenger as Olivier Giroud, Kieran Gibbs, Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey sidelined

Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, and Jack Wilshere are also doubts

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he is facing up to a potential injury crisis ahead of the New Year's Day clash against Cardiff, which striker Olivier Giroud will definitely miss because of an ankle problem.

Midfielders Tomas Rosicky (calf) and Jack Wilshere (ankle) both face fitness tests later on Tuesday, as does England forward Theo Walcott, who picked up a shoulder problem in the 1-0 win at Newcastle.

Full-back Kieran Gibbs definitely misses out because of a calf strain, while fellow defenders Nacho Monreal and Thomas Vermaelen have both been laid low by illness.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey is expected to be unavailable for around three weeks with the thigh problem suffered in the win at West Ham on Boxing Day, while German playmaker Mesut Ozil is also sidelined, with the club awaiting results of a visit to a shoulder specialist.

"You need a good memory because we have plenty of problems," said Wenger, whose side head into 2014 top of the table by a point from Manchester City.

"Ramsey and Ozil are out. Ramsey (for) three weeks and Ozil has seen a specialist last night, I haven't got a report yet.

"We lost Gibbs at Newcastle with a calf strain. We have as well Monreal and Vermaelen, who are not sure to be ready because they come just back from illness, then we have uncertainty about Rosicky, Wilshere and Walcott.

"We lost Giroud on an ankle problem at Newcastle, so this morning will be more a medical check to see who will be available for tomorrow's game."

Wenger, though, moved to allay any worries Giroud's injury could be a long-term concern.

"Olivier is a strong structure and he recovers quite quickly," said Wenger of the France striker, whose second-half header secured victory at Newcastle to end his mini-goal drought.

"He thinks he will be all right for Saturday, but the medical people think he will be a bit short. He is quite optimistic about it."

Wenger must decide whether to start Lukas Podolski, who scored on his return from a four-month injury lay-off at Upton Park, or Nicklas Bendtner in attack against the Bluebirds.

"I have to see how I can balance the team because I have to consider as well who else is out and how can I get a balanced team out there," he said.

Wenger will measure up Arsenal's options ahead of the transfer window opening again on New Year's Day.

"We are like many clubs, we are certainly on alert if something special turns up we will not turn it down, but we are not as well desperate because we have a big depth in our squad," the Arsenal boss said.

"We have shown that because our midfield for example at West Ham and at Newcastle was completely different - we changed three players and we still managed to have a very strong team."

France international Giroud admits he would "rather not see a new striker come in" next month.

Wenger, though, maintains Arsenal are not looking to replace their 11-goal forward, rather offer him support.

"Would you expect anything different from a striker?" said Wenger when asked what he thought of Giroud's comments to French TV.

"I believe we have to give him credit for one thing, that physically he has coped with it until now in a remarkable way and with a fantastic combative attitude.

"I don't know if we will do something or not (in January), but it is not to replace Olivier Giroud - we have a great confidence in Olivier Giroud."

Suggested Topics
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments