If Arsenal is to put up a snowman against Sunderland this weekend, as Southampton did in last week's Battle of the Teams Who Dress Alike, they'll have to do so without the services of Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny.
According to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who celebrated his 65th birthday this week with Lukas Podolski jumping out of a cake and scoring the winning goal against Anderlecht in Belgian-flavored Champions League action, Koscielny is still injured and may not see the pitch for close to another month. The grim quote in question:
I cannot give you any date because we go day-by-day with him at the moment. I hope that after the next international break he will be available again. Before that I don’t think so.
Adventures in Central Defense will continue with either Calum Chambers or Nacho Monreal pairing with Per Mertesacker to face the juggernaut that is Jozy Altidore (though it'll more likely be Stephen Fletcher or Connor Wickham firing on the Arsenal nets).
Wilshere, on the other hand, is perfectly healthy (unlike most of his teammates) -- he's just sitting this match out due to yellow card accumulation, and should be back when Arsenal hosts Burnley on Nov. 1.
Happy reunion time with former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone takes place Saturday at 10 am between Winterfell and The Wall.