Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been forced to shuffle his back line in time for Saturday’s FA Cup final after it came to light that central defenders Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista will both miss the fixture.
The Gunners face Premier League champions Chelsea at Wembley Stadium this weekend and were pained to learn Gabriel will be absent for the finale after suffering knee ligament damage during Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Everton.
He’s set to miss eight weeks on the sidelines, while Koscielny was unsuccessful in his appeal against the red card he incurred against the Toffees on the last day of the Premier League season.
There’s more bad news among Arsenal’s back line, however, amid reports summer signing Shkodran Mustafi is also a doubt due to concerns he suffered a concussion against Sunderland last week.
Those absences mean Wenger will likely be forced to hand a start to inexperienced centre-back Rob Holding, while Nacho Montreal or Kieran Gibbs may have to fill in alongside.
FA Cup Final Odds
- Chelsea: 4/9 (1.44)
- Arsenal: 7/4 (2.75)