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Team News: updates on Olivier Giroud, Francis Coquelin

Good news on Coquelin. Not so good news on Giroud.

Arsenal v West Ham United - Carabao Cup Quarter-Final
It looks as if Olivier Giroud will be spending a few weeks on the shelf.
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

In his post-match press conference following today’s 1-0 Carabao Cup quarterfinal win over West Ham, Arsene Wenger gave injury updates on Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin. The boss had both good and bad news to share.

The good news is Francis Coquelin’s injury appears to be a minor one. Wenger believes that the midfielder has a chance to play on Friday night (although if he does, it will probably be in a substitute role).

The bad news is Giroud has a hamstring strain, and it might be serious. The team will know more following a scan on Thursday, but the boss thinks the striker will likely be out for at least the remainder of the holiday period. For what it’s worth, Wenger also said that Giroud was in significant pain.

You never want to lose players to injury, and Giroud’s could prove a particularly damaging blow for the Gunners. The Frenchman is the club’s second top scorer in all competitions, and his contributions as a “super sub” cannot be overstated. Giroud has scored or contributed to several key goals late in matches throughout the season. The Frenchman has also been the go-to replacement for Alexandre Lacazette, who does not seem capable of / trusted to play a full 90 minutes. In Giroud’s absence, look for Danny Welbeck to come on late in matches once Lacazette is fatigued.

Even though the Coquelin injury does not appear to be serious, it comes at a position where Arsenal are thinner than usual because of the injury to Aaron Ramsey. Wenger will most likely deploy Granit Xhaka and Jack Wilshere against Liverpool as expected. The only implication of the injury is that Arsene Wenger does not have any good defensive options in the midfield should he need to make a change.