Arsenal vs Newcastle team news: Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal ruled out to plunge Gunners into fresh injury crisis

Ramsey has scored three goals in his last two outings while Koscielny has shored up the Gunners defence but both will miss the visit of the Magpies

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger has a fresh defensive crisis on his hands after he confirmed that Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal will both miss Arsenal's weekend Premier League match against Newcastle, along with the suspended Calum Chambers.

As if that wasn’t bad enough for the Gunners, they will also be without midfielder Aaron Ramsey after he suffered a hamstring injury in the 4-1 win over Galatasaray which saw him score a candidate for goal of the year.

Wenger handed right-back Mathieu Debuchy his first start in three months in the Champions League game in Turkey, but he could be forced to deploy the Frenchman as a makeshift centre-back given that he has no alternative options to partner Per Mertesacker at the back. With Debuchy set to start in the middle, either Hector Bellerin or defensive midfielder Mathieu Flamini could play at right-back, with Kieran Gibbs coming back into the side on the left.


The news will cause further frustration among Arsenal fans that have shown a serious level of discontent in recent weeks with the side below-par performances and Wenger’s failure to sign at least another defender in the summer.

Having brought in Debuchy and Chambers to replace the departed Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen, supporters called for another defender to be added to the squad to strengthen what they hoped would be a title challenge, but Wenger decided against signing another player and the Gunners currently find themselves down in sixth, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday morning, Wenger confirmed that Koscielny had not suffered a recurrence of the ankle injury that kept him on the sidelines earlier in the season, but had picked up a new calf strain that will definitely keep him out of Saturday’s evening kick-off.

"He [Koscielny] has a calf strain and that's why he's out,” said Wenger. "He [Gibbs] is available and Flamini is available too.

“Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Danny Welbeck are fit and rested.”

On Ramsey’s knock, Wenger admitted it was a disappointment not to have him available after he scored in his last two outings.

He added: "It's a shame because he was getting close to matching last season's form.”

Koscielny has suffered a calf strain

Wenger is aware that Newcastle’s run of form – which has led to Alan Pardew picking up the award for Barclays Manager of the Month – means they pose a serious threat on Saturday.

"They are doing well and are on a good run so it'll be a good challenge for us,” he said. “Overall we are on a good trend.

"We are united for one target: to do well for the club we love and that's what we want to achieve.

"Society wants to win the next game and it's a permanent tribunal for everyone. Pardew has done a great job this season."

The 65-year-old Frenchman also explained that Lukas Podolski will get a chance to show he belongs in the starting line-up after his brace against Galatasaray in mid-week, which once again demonstrated his prowess in front of goal.

"He's getting back into form,” explained Wenger. “There's a lot of competition up front. He will get a chance"

"I can understand frustration but he has to be ready when his chance comes to help the club."