Arsenal face defensive crisis ahead of FA Cup final

Ruben Hill
May 28, 2017

ARSENAL face Chelsea on Saturday at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup final with the Gunners facing a defensive crisis ahead of the London derby.

Though he has been barracked by his own fans and failed to secure Champions League qualification for the first time in 20 years, Wenger can make history by becoming the first manager to win seven FA Cups.

Jamie Carragher has questioned Arsene Wenger's continued praise of his Arsenal players after a disappointing season.

Mertesacker, who underwent knee surgery after picking up an injury during a friendly last July, was sidelined all season until he came off the bench in Arsenal's final Premier League game against Everton on Sunday.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "It will not be my last match because whatever happens I will stay in football".

"Would it be a nice farewell?"

"I want to make sure I will be ready and my mindset is "120 minutes plus penalties". I owe this to this team and to this club". Why [should it]? I don't care about me, I care about us winning the game on Saturday.

Cahill, who is expected to captain Chelsea on Saturday, was a part of the England team that faced France at the same venue shortly after the attacks on Paris in November 2015. I have until Saturday to decide [about a formation change].

However, Gabriel is definitely out after being taken off on a stretcher against Everton on Sunday with a knee injury, while Mustafi is "still sick" and doubtful with a suspected concussion.

"Not much because the pressure was high, especially against Hull, because we had not won the FA Cup for a while", Wenger said during his pre-match conference on Wednesday.

Wenger said: "Alexis is not at the end of his contract".

"We will see as he needs to go through some tests".

"Some clubs are stronger than us yes, but now I believe we are in a position to compete and we have a strong enough basic squad to compete at the top level". "I was so happy to have him". The Football Association has strict guidelines on when a player can return from a head injury and it is not a good sign, to say the least, that Mustafi has been unable to engage in light exercise four days before the final.

"Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is in contention because he is back in training".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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