Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger announced that the injury that Kieran Gibbs suffered in Wednesday's Champions League match against Bayern Munich will keep him out of action when Arsenal plays Sunderland tomorrow. Arsenal.com officially lists it as a "buttock" injury, though other news sources are calling it a "hamstring," which is in the same general area but sounding slightly less tawdry. Expect Nacho Monreal to play left back as Sunderland fields a squad that may include just-back-from-injury Stephen Fletcher.
Wenger also noted that Mikel Arteta, who was unavailable for Wednesday's match due to red carding, is back in the mix for the weekend -- though there's still no word on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's status after reportedly receiving an in-game knock and going out in the second half on Wednesday.
Despite Gibbs' injury and the potentially deflating recent stretch of games, it's a golden opportunity for Arsenal to regain the top of the table -- Sunderland currently sits in the relegation zone in 18th place, Chelsea has to face 6th-place Everton at Stamford Bridge in Saturday's early match, and Manchester City hosts Stoke City after coming off an eerily-similar-to-Arsenal's 2-0 Champions League loss on Tuesday. (Player sent off for red card leading to penalty kick? Check. Scoreless at halftime before conceding two goals in the second half? Check. Losing in front of their home crowd? Yep, that too.)