Arsenal will be without the services of top scorer Alexandre Lacazette for a massive Premier League clash with arch-rivals Manchester United but Gunners boss Arsene Wenger believes his squad has enough quality to cope without the French forward.
“Look, we have offensive weapons, you know. We have (Danny) Welbeck, we have (Olivier) Giroud, we have (Jack) Wilshere who all came on. They are all offensive players. I will see what I do for Saturday but ideally you wanted him there,” Wenger asserted after the Gunners’ thumping 5-0 win over Huddersfield.
Lacazette scored the opener at the Emirates but was replaced by his France colleague Olivier Giroud at half-time after suffering a groin injury and Wenger confirmed in the aftermath of their win over the Terriers that the club-record signing would miss Saturday’s clash.
Giroud scored a second-half brace while Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil grabbed a goal each as the Gunners ran riot to register their biggest win of the season.
Sanchez came off with a sore hamstring on Wednesday night but Wenger calmed fears surrounding the talismanic winger’s injury as he stated, “Alexis had a little hamstring problem, that’s why I took him off but I think he will be alright”.
Wenger will renew a fractious rivalry with Jose Mourinho when the Red Devils come visiting but the French tactician felt that the focus should be on the teams and not their managers.
“It is a game between Arsenal and Man United at home. I just want to focus and to prepare well my team, and give my team a good chance to win the game. Man United is doing well at the moment, we are doing well at the moment, so it looks to be a promising game.”
United have shut up shop aka ‘parked the bus’ in away games against big sides (Liverpool and Chelsea this season) but Wenger refuted suggestions that the Red Devils will employ a similar strategy as he stated, “I don’t expect anything special. Man United is a strong team and I expect us just to cope with the problems they will give us. They will attack as well. They will not only defend”.
“They are a dangerous team, they have made fantastic results so to beat a team like that you need to be at your best and that’s what I want to focus on,” added the the 68-year-old Wenger.
Star midfielder Mesut Ozil is in the final year of his contract with the Gunners and with the January transfer window less than a month away, rumours of a move to Manchester United have intensified in recent weeks.
For the German will be eligible to sign a pre-contract with rival clubs on January 1, 2018 and then sign on a permanent deal in the summer of the 2018.
Wenger, however, praised Ozil as he said he wasn’t one to question his commitment.
“There is only one way to show how much you are committed – your attitude on the pitch. When you see him play, one thing you cannot question is the way he wants to play for the team”.