Arsenal team news: Ozil and Mertesacker ill

Dennis Grombkowski

Somebody's poisoned the water hole.

Evidently on top of the other issues Arsenal have in the squad (mainly injuries, including Tomas Rosicky's over the international break), illness is rearing its ugly head again much like before the Tottenham game, and may force changes to the starting XI. From David Ornstein:

That's annoying. It's possible that this is something they both picked up while on duty with Germany, which would give us all another reason to hate international breaks.

If Per Mertesacker is too sick even to be on the bench, that really throws a wrench in the team. Thomas Vermaelen has returned to full training and Arsene Wenger has said he may be in the squad, so that helps mitigate the problem. But it's unlikely that he will be ready to start and play at his best, so Bacary Sagna will probably start alongside Laurent Koscielny. That means Carl Jenkinson in at right back, most likely.

If Mesut Ozil is also ill - but well enough to travel - he also may not start. That's annoying, because I'd really like to see him play. With Rosicky also out, it throws the midfield in flux a bit. We may see a Wilshere-Ramsey-Flamini midfield, or Flamini may be kept out as a reserve fullback. I doubt that will happen, though, because the only alternative I can think of at the moment would be Emmanuel Frimpong. Or Ozil may get better in the next 23 hours, and start the game and get four assists. We will just have to see.

Either way, this is starting to get to be like one of those bad games of Football Manager where the game decides to kill off your whole team all at once. It would be nice if Arsene would reset the game, please.

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